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FIM Quiz 1 {Roles and Skills of Manager in Loosely Structured Organization}

Shailendra Malik, EPGP-06-63

What is a Loosely Structured Organization?
A Loosely Structured Organization does not have well documented and established
rules, stringent policies and procedures for business processes, well defined
communication channel, bureaucracy and central leadership.
A Loosely Structured Organization keeps employees at the nucleus of organization,
promotes individuals creativity, believes that employees should manage themselves
and their resources, de-emphasizes the formal procedures and de-centralizes the jobs.

Roles and Skills of a Manager in Loosely Structured Organization
A manager in Loosely Structured Organization is nothing but an Enabler. At the outset of subject we could think of him
performing following roles

1. Promote Creativity
When lot of people come together to work for a non-profit organization such as Apache, Wikipedia their objective is
very clear and which is To Help Community. They are not working for a reward and are hence highly motivated to
give their best. Manger should show respect and promote the creative ideas people come up with. In such a rapidly
changing environment managers need to be very adaptive and innovative to new ideas.

2. Practice Personal Power (Expert & Charismatic power), Positional Powers (Legal, Rewards, Penalty) are not an option
As this type of organization believes in de-centralization of jobs and believes in employees to be their own managers, a
designated manager should avoid using legal power. However, his expert and charismatic power are the ones which
would be most welcomed by team members and would serve the purpose.

3. Practice State-Of-The-Art Communication Techniques
Such organizations are most of the time virtual organizations and hence would need a manager to be well versed with
mostly being used digital communication means such as Skype, Office Communicator, Webex, Bomgar, video and Tele-
conferences etc.

4. Promote Flat and Open Communication
This type of organization does not believe in vertical communication channel and manger should promote open and
horizontal communication for effective coordination and reducing the total turnaround time.

5. Manage Chaos
As employees/team members have a big say in such organization, it is very likely that situations would be there when
team members would be having disagreements with each other and it could stall the overall progress. Manager should
be right on the target to tackle such situations with proper tools and methodologies suiting to the situation and ensure
the continued growth of the project.

6. Promote Teamwork
In this type of organization, progress is all team work based and nothing could be achieved without it. From the very
definition of Team, it is a group of people who work together to achieve a common goal. However, situation is likely
when team members would find themselves spending more time in arguments and hampering the overall productivity
of team. A manger should be wary of such situation and deal appropriately. He should continuously spread awareness
about the importance of team and the goal they all are working for.

7. Target For A Substitute Product, Be a Visionary and Help Community
Goal of such organizations would not meet if they cant create a substitute product in the market. A manager should
right be targeting on the bulls eye to ensure that the product they create works as a substitute product for existing
costly options available in the market. When invited to speak at IBM, Open Source proponent Richard StallMan,
founder of Free Software Foundation, said his vision is that everyone will be able to obtain a good software system
for free just like air.