Organization Chart: Meaning, Types, Advantages And Disadvantages

Table Of Contents

  • Definition Of Organization Chart
  • Preparing Organization Chart
  • The Purpose Of Organization Charts
  • Types Of Organization Chart
  • Advantages Of Organization Chart
  • Disadvantages Of Organization Chart

Definition Of Organization Chart

An organization chart is a diagram showing the structure of an organization; it shows the major functions and the lines of an organization authority relationship among the personnel at a given moment.

Preparing Organization Chart

The following guidlines should be followed in preparing an organization chart:

1. Identify the chart fully by showing the name of the company, the date of preparation and title of person or name of the department responsible for its preparation. If the chart is for a section or division of a company; such information should be included as part of the title.

2. An organizational unit, position or function should be enclosed in rectangular boxes. Sometimes the names of personnel occupying positions are also included in the box.

3. Line relationships are shown by a continuous line. The vertical and horizontal solid lines are used to show the direction of lines of authority, and to link the boxes.

4. Dotted or broken lines may be used to show the flow of functional authority relationships.

5. For ease of reference and analysis, it is best to keep charts as simple as possible.

The Purpose Of Organization Charts

The purpose of organization charts include:

1. To show the relationship between staff at various levels in the organization. It shows the lines of authority and the limits of responsibility.

2. It is used to show a member of staff to whom he is responsible, and who is responsible to him. It illustrates the channels of communication.

3. It shows the complete picture of the organization in a simple way to understand. It provides information for everyone within the organization. It promotes easy communication in the organization.

4. It is used to control staff and ensure the maintenance of a reasonable balance within the various grades. This is because by constructing an organization chart, the executives is forced to think more specifically about organization relationship in order to ensure balance.

5. To know the various departments and the function of departmental heads at a glance.

Types Of Organization Chart

An organization chart may be drawn in a variety of ways. The following are examples:

1. Vertical Chart
2. Horizontal Chart
3. Pyramidal Chart
4. Circular Chart
5. Concentric Chart

1. Vertical Chart

The type of organization shows the organizational hierarchy, ranked from top to bottom. The flow of authority or line of command is from the top to the bottom. In a functional organization chart, the lines may be shown diagonally.

The vertical chart shows the highest decision making body or the chief executive at the top, followed by the next in command until the lowest in rank in the organization is represented at the bottom of the chart.

2. Horizontal Chart

In horizontal chart, the vertical lines are turned to horizontal lines. The horizontal attempt to de-emphasize level of authority and the psychological effects of feeling too. The horizontal chart is read from left to right rather than from top to bottom.

3. The Circular Chart (Or Sphere) Chart

It is used to show the respective sphere of responsibility more clearly than would be possible with the vertical and horizontal charts.

It tends to boost personnerl morale as they feel quite close to the centre of organizational authority and power. Within each circle there are smaller circles, representing the position of subordinates in each department.

4. Pyramidal Chart

This shows the levels of authority. The highest authority level is seen at the apex giving orders down the pyramid.

5. Concentric Chart

In the concentric chart, the chief executive is placed in the centre of the chart apparently indicating that all functions revolve around him. In the concentric chart, one departmental head it as close to the chief executive as the other, thereby eliminating the feelings of level, seniority or superiority.

Organizational charts range from simple charts depicting only major departments or units, to complex charts which includes minor units and various in the levels of authority.

Organization charts may include the positions held by different individuals or at times, the functions of the different positions.

Advantages Of Organization Chart

1. It shows at a glance of the organization structure. Members of staff from top to the bottom in the organization become aware of the structure of each section, department or the whole organization.

2. It is easier to analyze and review the organization structure when it is represented graphically.

3. Management relationships are visible.

4. Spheres of responsibility and authority are defined.

5. The span of control of each supervisor/manager can be seen.

6. Lines of communication are well spelt out.

7. Weakness in organization can be easily diagnosed, for instance, weak lines of communication, unattached staff, etc.

Disadvantages Of Organizational Chart

1. It shows only formal relationship and does not show any informal relationship between departments or individual which may exist in practice.

2. The formality of the organizational chart may influence staff members to interprete their duties and responsibilities narrowly.

3. It tends to increase formal and compartmentalized attitudes in executives and employees and discourages informal co-operation among them.

4. It can lead to misunderstanding concerning the status of employees, e.g. Staff officers.

5. Charts soon become out-dated as the organization expands the scope of business.

6. The cost of preparation, revising and storing charts may be enormous.

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