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Organizational structure effect on communication efficiency for management information system supported organizations: A Delphi study

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 2011
Dissertation
Author: Timothy M Lewis
Abstract:
The purpose of the study was to examine the effects a bureaucratic organizational structure has on communication capability of management information systems to develop a new organizational design alternative. The study used a qualitative method with supporting quantitative data to collect information from a set of participants. A Delphi study was used to allow 15 experts in the field to share their knowledge and beliefs using collective intelligence to achieve consensus during a three round process. The results identified traditional organizational structures create vertical and horizontal boundaries impeding communication. The findings determined the critical aspects to improve communication through the reduction of boundaries was direct leadership support for a centralized management information system team with clear responsibility, accountability and authority to facilitate organizational communication. The recommendation was an organizational design composed of an Integrated Product Organization at the leadership level with membership at the sub-team level utilizing Cross-Integrated Teams. The benefit is an organizational design with a centralized team for common solution to mitigate horizontal boundaries and working level support to mitigate vertical boundaries. The recommendation may improve organizational communication to facilitate organizational success for leaders.

vii Table of Contents \List of Tables .......................................................................................................... xv

List of Figures ......................................................................................................... xvi

Chapter 1: Introduction .............................................................................................. 1

Background of the Problem ....................................................................................... 3

Organizational structure. ..................................................................................... 4

Organizational constraints. ................................................................................. 5

Organizational function. ..................................................................................... 6

Statement of the Problem ........................................................................................... 7

Purpose of the Current Research Study ..................................................................... 8

Significance of the Current Research Study ............................................................ 10

Overall significance of the current research study. .......................................... 10

Significance of the current research study to leadership. ................................. 12

Nature of the Current Research Study ..................................................................... 13

Overview of the research method. .................................................................... 14

Overview of the design appropriateness. .......................................................... 14

Research Questions .................................................................................................. 15

Theoretical Framework ............................................................................................ 17

Definition of Terms.................................................................................................. 21

Assumptions ............................................................................................................. 24

Scope, Limitations and Delimitations ...................................................................... 26

Scope. ................................................................................................................ 26

Limitations. ....................................................................................................... 27

viii Delimitations. .................................................................................................... 28

Summary .................................................................................................................. 29

Chapter 2: Review of the Literature ......................................................................... 31

Title Searches, Articles, Research Documents, and Journals .................................. 32

Organizational Design and Communication Influences .......................................... 33

Historical overview. .......................................................................................... 33

Bureaucracy. ................................................................................................... 34

Scientific management. .................................................................................. 35

Systems theory. .............................................................................................. 36

Current theories. ............................................................................................. 37

Philosophical viewpoint. ................................................................................ 40

Organizational design. ...................................................................................... 41

Mechanics. ...................................................................................................... 42

Design. ............................................................................................................ 42

Structure. ........................................................................................................ 44

Leadership influence. ..................................................................................... 45

Diverging solutions. ....................................................................................... 47

Integration. ..................................................................................................... 48

Communication through organizational assessment. ....................................... 50

Communication. ............................................................................................. 50

Contributors to communication. ..................................................................... 52

Bias toward innovation. .................................................................................. 53

Organizational assessment. ............................................................................ 54

ix Literature Gap .......................................................................................................... 57

Conclusions .............................................................................................................. 59

Summary .................................................................................................................. 61

Chapter 3: Research Method .................................................................................... 63

Research Method and Design Appropriateness ....................................................... 63

Rationale for research method. ......................................................................... 64

Rationale for research design. ........................................................................... 64

Design goal achievement. ................................................................................. 65

Research Questions .................................................................................................. 66

Population ................................................................................................................ 66

Sampling Frame ....................................................................................................... 67

Purposeful sampling. ........................................................................................ 68

Theory or concept sampling. .......................................................................... 68

Homogeneous sampling. ................................................................................ 69

Snowball sampling. ........................................................................................ 69

Sampling details. ............................................................................................... 69

Informed consent. ............................................................................................. 70

Confidentiality. ................................................................................................. 71

Geographic location. ......................................................................................... 72

Data Collection ........................................................................................................ 72

Collection method. ............................................................................................ 72

Data type. .......................................................................................................... 73

Instrumentation ........................................................................................................ 74

x Phase 1 develop instrument. ............................................................................. 75

Phase 2 expert panel. ........................................................................................ 75

Phase 3 refine study. ......................................................................................... 75

Phase 4 final study. ........................................................................................... 76

Validity and Reliability ............................................................................................ 76

Data Analysis Procedures ........................................................................................ 77

Demographics analysis. .................................................................................... 80

Inference. ........................................................................................................ 80

Comparative trend analysis. ........................................................................... 81

Quantitative 5-scale-Likert-type questions analysis. ........................................ 81

Central tendency. ............................................................................................ 81

Level of dispersion. ........................................................................................ 82

Box plot. ......................................................................................................... 82

Qualitative open-ended responses analysis. ..................................................... 83

Content analysis. ............................................................................................ 83

Data anomalies .................................................................................................. 84

Summary .................................................................................................................. 84

Chapter 4: Data Analysis ......................................................................................... 86

Expert Panel ............................................................................................................. 86

Data Collection ........................................................................................................ 87

Round 1 collection. ........................................................................................... 88

Round 2 collection. ........................................................................................... 88

Round 3 collection. ........................................................................................... 89

xi Demographics .......................................................................................................... 89

Data Analysis ........................................................................................................... 95

Round 1 results. ................................................................................................ 96

Round 1 demographic results. ........................................................................ 96

Round 1 5-point-Likert-type scale questions results. ..................................... 97

Horizontal boundaries. ............................................................................... 99

Vertical boundaries. .................................................................................. 100

Round 1 open-ended question results. .......................................................... 101

Round 1 summary. ....................................................................................... 102

Round 2 results. .............................................................................................. 103

Demographic results. .................................................................................... 103

Round 2 5-point-Likert-type scale questions results. ................................... 104

Common MIS for leadership. ................................................................... 106

Common MIS for teams. .......................................................................... 107

Mandated MIS. ......................................................................................... 108

Round 2 open-ended comments results. ....................................................... 109

Individuals given RAA to use MIS. ......................................................... 110

Leadership setting the standard. ............................................................... 110

Clear communication plan. ....................................................................... 111

Organizational support. ............................................................................ 111

Collaboration of tools and people with a common MIS. ......................... 112

Round 2 summary. ....................................................................................... 112

Round 3 results. .............................................................................................. 113

xii Demographic results. .................................................................................... 113

Round 3 5-point-Likert-type scale questions results. ................................... 113

Cross-integrated MIS. .............................................................................. 115

Centralized MIS team. .............................................................................. 116

MIS single authority. ................................................................................ 117

Round 3 open-ended question results. .......................................................... 118

Round 3 summary. ....................................................................................... 119

Summary ................................................................................................................ 119

Chapter 5: Conclusions and Recommendations .................................................... 121

Effects of Limitations and Delimitations ............................................................... 121

Implications of the Findings .................................................................................. 122

Round 1 findings............................................................................................. 122

Round 1 5-point-Likert-type question findings. ........................................... 123

Round 1 open-ended question findings. ....................................................... 124

Open culture. ............................................................................................ 124

Commonality and resistance to change. ................................................... 124

Required proper use of effective MIS tools. ............................................ 125

Round 2 findings............................................................................................. 125

Round 2 5-point-Likert-type question findings. ........................................... 126

Round 2 open-ended question findings. ....................................................... 126

Assigned RAA. ......................................................................................... 127

Set the example. ....................................................................................... 127

Involved program plan. ............................................................................ 127

xiii Organizational support. ............................................................................ 128

Collaboration through common MIS. ...................................................... 128

Round 3 findings............................................................................................. 129

Round 3 5-point-Likert-type question findings. ........................................... 129

Round 3 open-ended question findings. ....................................................... 130

Periodic assessment. ................................................................................. 130

Adaptive to needs. .................................................................................... 130

Summary of findings and implications. .......................................................... 131

Recommendations .................................................................................................. 132

Recommendations to leadership. .................................................................... 132

Integrated Product Organizations model. ..................................................... 134

Cross-Integrated Teams model. .................................................................... 135

The IPO-CIT model recommendation. ......................................................... 135

Recommendations for Future Studies .................................................................... 136

Summary ................................................................................................................ 138

References .............................................................................................................. 140

Appendix A: Permission to Use Premises, Name, and/or Subjects ....................... 152

Appendix B: Delphi Study Informed Consent ....................................................... 153

Appendix C: Expert Panel Solicitation Email ....................................................... 155

Appendix D: Expert Panel Informed Consent ....................................................... 156

Appendix E: Expert Panel Survey Instrument ....................................................... 158

Appendix F: Round 1 Survey Instrument .............................................................. 162

Appendix G: Delphi Participant Solicitation Email............................................... 166

xiv Appendix H: Round 1 Email Notification ............................................................. 167

Appendix I: Round 1 Follow-Up Email................................................................. 170

Appendix J: Round 2 Email Notification............................................................... 171

Appendix K: Round 2 Follow-Up Email ............................................................... 175

Appendix L: Round 3 Email Notification .............................................................. 176

Appendix M: Round 3 Follow-Up Email .............................................................. 180

Appendix N: Demographics .................................................................................. 181

Appendix O: Round 1 Raw Data ........................................................................... 183

Appendix P: Round 2 Raw Data ............................................................................ 184

Appendix Q: Round 2 Survey Instrument ............................................................. 186

Appendix R: Round 3 Survey Instrument .............................................................. 189

Appendix S: Round 3 Raw Data ............................................................................ 192

xv List of Tables Table 1 Title Search Gap Analysis

........................................................................... 59 Table 2 Participant Information for Similar Delphi Studies

................................... 70 Table 3 Analysis Method Applied in Similar Delphi Studies

................................... 79 Table 4 Demographic Data Dispersion by Gender

................................................. 90 Table 5 Demographic Data Dispersion by Age

....................................................... 91 Table 6 Demographic Data Dispersion by Metropolitan Area

............................... 91 Table 7 Demographic Data Dispersion by Educational Background

..................... 92 Table 8 Demographic Data Dispersion by Experience

........................................... 93 Table 9 Demographic Data Dispersion by Organization Type

............................... 94 Table 10 Demographic Data Dispersion by Leadership Role

................................. 94 Table 11 Demographic Data Dispersion by Number of Direct Reports

................. 95 Table 12 Summary of Round 1 Responses and Statistical Measures

....................... 99 Table 13 Breakout of Disagree Responses in Round 2

.......................................... 104 Table 14 Summary of Round 2 Responses and Statistical Measures

..................... 106 Table 15 Summary of Round 3 Responses and Statistical Measures

..................... 115

xvi List of Figures Figure 1. The interrelationship between the design of organizational structure, MIS groups, and communication capabilities.

........................................................... 4 Figure 2. A communication model representing direct linear connection and causal loop influence.

................................................................................................. 7 Figure 3. A sample depiction of one business division and single program in a mechanistic organization with participants in grey box.

......................................... 10 Figure 4. A visual representation of independent organic communication in a mechanistic organization.

........................................................................................ 12 Figure 5. Simplistic representation of typical product-based organizational design with MIS group alternatives.

........................................................................ 16 Figure 6. Phased development plan for creating and conducting Delphi study.

.... 74 Figure 7. Sample of Box Plot showing no consensus and consensus.

................... 83 Figure 8. Sample of demographic comparative Excel pivot table.

......................... 97 Figure 9. Round 1 Box plot of 5-point-Likert-type scale questions

....................... 98 Figure 10. Round 1 result for 5-point-Likert-type Question 3: Horizontal boundaries in organizations are difficult to overcome.

.......................................... 100 Figure 11. Round 1 result for 5-point-Likert-type Question 4: Vertical boundaries in organizations are difficult to overcome.

.......................................... 101 Figure 12. Round 2 Box plot of 5-point-Likert-type scale questions

................... 105 Figure 13. Round 2 result for 5-point-Likert-type Question 3: Horizontal boundaries can be overcome or improved by establishing single/common MIS tools at all levels of the organization.

.................................................................... 107

xvii Figure 14. Round 2 result for 5-point-Likert-type Question 4: Horizontal boundaries can be overcome by MIS services that are common across all teams within the organization.

......................................................................................... 108 Figure 15. Round 2 result for 5-point-Likert-type Question 5: To encourage an open culture of communication, mandating use of common and efficient MIS solutions is necessary for effective communication.

............................................. 109 Figure 16. Round 3 Box plot of 5-point-Likert-type scale questions

................... 114 Figure 17. Round 3 result for 5-point-Likert-type Question 1: Program and functional leadership must jointly support a single MIS Team to design a cross- integrated MIS to meet the needs of the organization by establishing clear accountability through a program plan to integrate the tools at all levels of the organization.

........................................................................................................... 116 Figure 18. Round 3 result for 5-point-Likert-type Question 2: A centralized MIS team is needed to facilitate a closed-loop plan of tools, services, and people coordinated with leadership and the RAA to collaborate with users at the working level to integrate solutions horizontally and vertically throughout the organization.

........................................................................................................... 117 Figure 19. Round 3 result for 5-point-Likert-type Question 3: Leadership from the highest levels to the working levels must support the MIS Team’s mission as the single authority to implement the integrated solution plan to support all levels of the organization.

...................................................................................... 118 Figure 20. The interrelationship between the design of organizational structure, original independent MIS groups, and communication capabilities.

..................... 133

xviii Figure 21. A new MIS Integrated Product Organization (IPO) using Cross- Integrated Teams (CIT) to mitigate vertical and horizontal communication boundaries.

............................................................................................................. 134

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Chapter 1: Introduction Organizations can be divided into two major categories: either occurring naturally or through conscious design (Child & McGrath, 2001; Wheatley & Kellner-Rogers, 1996). Humans instinctively form the natural foundation of organizational structures to best accommodate the needs of the individuals and the community (Wheatley & Kellner- Rogers, 1996). Contrary to the natural structures, bureaucratic models of the industrial age were used to identify the management of product flow through organizational design and create rigid organizational structures to achieve the most effective results (Child & McGrath, 2001). The same bureaucratic traditional structures continue to dominate postmodern businesses (Child & McGrath, 2001). The ingrained method of designing unnatural organizations around a bureaucratic structure has an effect on communication. Organizational communication is heavily influenced by bureaucratic organizational design (Meyer, 2010). Creation of organizational boundaries within a rigid organizational structure impedes the horizontal communication abilities of people within the organization (Johnston, Reed, Lawrence, & Onken, 2007). Morris’s (2007) research showed the industry average of project failure is 60-82%, and one of the three major causes was the lack of effective communication. Open and clear communication across the organization is critical for program success (Morris, 2007). The ability of people in organizations to communicate is directly related to working groups who design and support information systems (Iverson & Vukotich, 2009). The purpose of the qualitative Delphi study with supporting quantitative data was to examine and better understand the current effects and the limitations on communication in traditional hierarchal organizations with relation to groups applying, supporting, or creating

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management information systems (MIS) to identify potential organizational design alternatives. Sub-groups, like MIS and cross-functional teams, are organizational structures used to countermand the negative aspects of bureaucratic structures on communication (De Haes & Van Grembergen, 2008; Windischer, Grote, Mathier, Martins, & Glardon, 2009). MIS has a direct influence on communication to the whole organization (Iverson & Vukotich, 2009). The focus of the current research study on MIS groups within organizations was to elicit results showing the perceived influence of effective communication to organizational structure. MIS describes the information technology communication solutions enabling alignment between information and individuals within the organization (De Haes & Van Grembergen, 2008). In contrast, bureaucratic organizational structures produce boundaries, sometimes defined as distances between roles, which cause alignment issues working against the purpose of MIS (Gibson, Cooper, & Conger, 2009). The origin of alternate organizational designs, like cross- functional teams, is a business response to the recognized inefficiencies of traditional organizational structure boundaries and the effect on communication performance and alignment (Windischer et al., 2009). Jayasingam, Ansari, and Jantan (2010) and Johnston et al. (2007) pointed out a literature gap exists concerning communication within organizations. For example, groups supporting MIS communication and the cross- functional groups designed to address the communication inefficiencies have been under- researched (Jayasingam et al., 2010; Johnston et al., 2007). The focus of the current research study was to identify affects of organizational design and structure on groups who create, manage, and use MIS to influence the organization’s communication

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capability and potential alternatives for the future. Chapter 1 is composed of the following 12 sections: (a) background of the problem, (b) statement of the problem, (c) purpose of the current research study, (d) significance of the current research study, (e) nature of the current research study, (f) research questions, (g) theoretical framework, (h) definition of terms, (i) assumptions, (j) scope and limitations, (k) delimitations, and a (l) summary. Background of the Problem Organizational structure has been rigid in physical design for 150 years (Child & McGrath, 2001). The need to be adaptable, advance communication capability through organizational design, and improve overall organizational performance identifies a potential for an alternate viewpoint to fit organizational communication requirements (Gibson, Cooper, & Conger, 2009). Organizational leaders need to be able to lead the diversity of people within organizations by not constraining the individuals via fixed distances of reporting up through the organization and thereby limiting communication across the organization (Gibson et al., 2009). See Figure 1 where the dark lines show fixed distances of top-down/bottom-up communication and the impeded horizontal communication, or distance between roles represented by the communication block arrows. Reporting within organizations embodies the capabilities of MIS people, tools, and processes designed for organizational communication.

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Figure 1. The interrelationship between the design of organizational structure, MIS groups, and communication capabilities. MIS were designed to assist management by creating consolidated information methods to improve communication decision-making across the organization (De Haes & Van Grembergen, 2008). Organizations utilizing or supporting MIS to improve the capability of the business through best practices and improved tools face a challenge of addressing the digital information needs of the organization effectively and efficiently (Iverson & Vukotich, 2009; Postrel, 2009). The focus of the current research study is on physical structure of organizations in modern business related to communication efficiencies; therefore, the background section addresses organizational structure, organizational constraints, and concludes with organizational function to demonstrate the importance for social and theoretical interest. Organizational structure. The myriad of theoretical influences throughout the 20th and 21st centuries to organizational design exist because there are multitudes of variables affecting the organization (Robins, 1997). The development of an organizational structure depends upon variables of whether the organization was product Communication MIS Groups Communication

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or service orientated, if the organization was natural or rational, and on the unique constraints of the organization’s business venture (Robins, 1997; Scott & Davis, 2007). GE’s Jack Welch struggled with organizational structure so much that he intended to eliminate all physical organizational boundaries within GE and focus entirely on empowered teams to support the needs of the customer (Robins, 1997). Organizational constraints. There are three major constraints to communication in organizations, (a) power, (b) bureaucracy, and (c) responsibility, accountability and authority (RAA), or delegation (Mintzberg, Lampel, Quinn, & Ghoshal, 2003; Robey & Sales, 1994). The first constraint, power, relies on the ability of leaders to control and manage issues to successfully lead an organization (Furner, Mason, Mehta, Munyon, & Zinko, 2009). Leadership abuse of power in organizations also reinforces bureaucratic structures of maintaining decision authority at the top of the organization thereby making communication and productivity ineffective at lower levels (Furner et al., 2009). Traditional organizational structures impede the authority of sub-groups due to holding decision authority at the top of the organization, which is inherent with a command and control bureaucracy (Windischer et al., 2009). Aligned with power, bureaucracy is the hallmark of a mechanistic structure to create specific and predictable decisions through the organization (Robey & Sales, 1994). Bureaucracy provides “stable, strict, intensive, and calculable administration” for all large ventures (Weber, 1947, p. 338). In organizations facing constantly changing information systems with the requirement to expedite the flow of information, such as organizations composed of MIS tools and people, the need for speed and flexibility play an important role in effective communication (Mintzberg et al., 2003).

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RAA is a set of terms used both in industry and in the current research study to describe the necessary components required for a successful leader of a mechanistic organization (Robey & Sales, 1994). In the case of groups supporting MIS, the RAA is held at the upper echelons of the organization, or spread thinly through the organization (“Organizational Design,” 2004). The reluctance of leadership to give RAA at lower levels of the organization prevents effective management of tasks because the command and control innate bureaucratic boundaries impede communication (“Organizational Design,” 2004). The misuse and abuse of the three communication constraints of power, bureaucracy, and RAA creates the underpinning deterrent to effective organizational communication for small groups supporting MIS. Organizational function. The origins of the paradigms driving organizational design led to the specific structures used by corporations to depict chains of communication within organizations and the bureaucratic structures ultimately led to the constraints on communication within organizations (Wheatley & Kellner-Rogers, 1996). To be responsive to rapid change, organizations implemented flexible functions like cross-functional teams and MIS sub-groups in order to adapt to internal and external influences, like cross-functional teams and MIS sub-groups (Zehir, Altindag, & Gunsel, 2008). The deterrents to flexible functions within the structure were internal struggles involving communication constraints of a bureaucratic organization, which limited potential within the organization and led to inefficiencies or failure of the project (Morris, 2008). Based on inference from Zehir et al. (2008) and Morris (2008), Figure 2 illustrates the correlation of project failure to communication, the need for cross-

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functional communication shown with stepped connection, and a loop arrow in black demonstrating the hierarchical organization structure as a possible factor to the failure.

Figure 2. A communication model representing direct linear connection and causal loop influence. Statement of the Problem Modern and postmodern vertical organization hierarchies are inefficient in large corporations for small groups requiring responsive communication capabilities (Molloy, 2004). The general problem is modern organizational hierarchies in large corporations with mechanistic structures create a delay in the information flow that prevents knowledge workers from being successful (Wheatley & Kellner-Rogers, 1996). The current research study explored the perceived affects of communication flow and organizational structure pertaining to groups supporting or creating MIS. The design of horizontal communication structures addressed the real-time collaborative communication requirements of information teams seeking organizational efficiency; however, the design of structures also has shown constraint by the inherent horizontal boundaries impeding communication (Robins, 1993). The industry statistic shows 60-82% of projects fail primarily due to the inability of leadership to manage change, scope and the worker efforts through communication boundaries across all levels of an organization (Morris, 2008). The specific problem is modern hierarchal organizational structures decrease communication speed and quality within the Projects fail due to ineffective communication Modern hierarchical design limits cross-functional communication MIS groups manage communication Groups supporting MIS need to coordinate across functions

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management information systems (MIS) subgroups responsible for orchestrating communication throughout the organization, which ultimately decreases overall organizational performance and effectiveness (Klovienė & Gimžauskienė, 2008). A qualitative Delphi method with supporting quantitative data was used to assess perceptions of leaders involved with MIS implementation supporting the tactical or execution level of the organization. The detailed viewpoints of the participants provided the necessary data to address the affect of organizational structure on communication and possibly an alternative design to traditional structure for organizations composed of groups supporting MIS. The population for the current research study consisted of an initial 22 diverse organizational leaders directly involved with MIS organizations and tools in a major aerospace company to capture multiple discipline and division perspectives of those individuals. Purpose of the Current Research Study The purpose of the qualitative Delphi study with supporting quantitative data was to examine and better understand the current effects and the limitations on communication in traditional hierarchal organizations with relation to groups applying, supporting, or creating management information systems (MIS) to identify potential organizational design alternatives. The qualitative method allowed a critical analysis of communication influences to identify strengths and weaknesses and address possible improvements to the existing structure through analysis of supporting quantitative data (Dobrovolny & Fuentes, 2008). A Delphi method, which is designed to enable the ability to explore the inputs from expert respondents, was used to address the problem of organizational communication and provided a consolidated recommendation to improve

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the organizational communication with MIS subgroups (Hasson, Kenney, & McKenna, 2000). As a second benefit, the Delphi method is designed to allow for anonymity among participants and asynchronous communication as a capacity for ensuring personality and professional position do not influence the outcome of the discussions (Linstone & Turoff, 2002). The Delphi method was used to understand the personal philosophy of the leaders selected to participate in the current research study. The participants were influential decision makers within their respective division and programs, therefore the Delphi method was chosen to employ three major characteristics, “anonymity, controlled feedback, and statistical group response” (Dalkey, 1967, p. 3). The topics of interest when defining the need for organizational structure included implementation of non- traditional horizontal structures, the success of the structures, the limiting factors of the design, and leader acceptance and adoption of non-traditional structures. Through the collection of individual viewpoints from several unique disciplines within the organization--e.g., program management, engineering, and supply chain management-- the current research study elucidated the challenges of migrating to a new organizational design paradigm. The participants of the current research study were a diverse population to obtain meaningful data at various hierarchical levels in the organization, and the current research study used several individual career disciplines throughout the aerospace corporation by using both program and functional roles. See Figure 3 where areas of focus are in grey for participant selection in the Delphi study. Data from the various diverse levels and disciplines provided a holistic view of organizational influences and

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improved capability to provide a conclusion suitable for multiple applications outside of the aerospace industry. The intent of the participant section criteria was to obtain inputs in the form of a three-staged Delphi method from a select initial panel of a minimum of 20 diverse organizational leaders at a large aerospace company who support or use MIS teams in St. Louis, Missouri and Huntsville, Alabama.

Figure 3. A sample depiction of one business division and single program in a mechanistic organization with participants in grey box. Significance of the Current Research Study Overall significance of the current research study. The current research study is significant for two reasons. First, the broader focus of the current research study CEO Business President Industry President Program Director Program Leader Group Manger Functional Leader Business Division Functional Division Functional Director Selection Area of Delphi Study Participants Functional Manager MIS Team Leader MIS Employee Subject Matter Expert

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addressed the affect of communication issues of project management, which companies spend approximately $177,000 annually trying to improve these communication issues (Morris, 2007). Second, the detailed focus of the current research study addressed a new notion of cross-functional group management for improved communication with MIS sub-groups. The concept of the current research study has been similarly reviewed in literature by organizations using cross-functional groups, or horizontal boundary groups, to take people from multiple disciplines and create a single effective team (Robins, 1997). With respect to the current research study, the difference assesses individuals in a single discipline spread out in separate organizations under the program and functional leadership levels and address the potential for creating commonality for these individuals across the enterprise. Rather than filtering practices top-down as is done in a bureaucratic or mechanistic organization, the current research study addressed the alternate possibilities to improve horizontal communication through existing independent groups who use informal communication, or organic organizations. See Figure 4 of a mechanistic organization where visual representation of independent organic communication nodes (shown in black) address the communication between the nodes (arrows in black) both cross-functionally and cross-program.

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Figure 4. A visual representation of independent organic communication in a mechanistic organization. The current research study takes a different approach from traditional horizontal communication methodologies by examining the influences of multiple organization paradigms integrated across functional and product-based modern hierarchical organization. The intent of the different approach was to identify improved communication that can be achieved through collaboration within an organization by defining communication interactions leading to improved program performance (Johnston et al., 2007). The result was to find an improved communication method for groups supporting MIS to increase effectiveness and in turn enhance program communication in situations where lack of communication is one of the contributors to project failure (Morris, 2008). Significance of the current research study to leadership. The benefit for leadership resides in assessing a potential paradigm shift in how leaders treat organizational structures for group environments supporting or using MIS and } Independent sub- groups supporting/ managing MIS Program A Functional

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subsequently the intellectual capital supporting the organization’s ability to enhance communication. An alternate method to align groups with similar focus will yield economies of scale for development while simultaneously integrating best practices from the bottom-up. The result of the alternate method on leadership requires acclimatization to the new structure, and the significance is the ability of the organization design to systematize responsibility to allow leaders to delegate the managing role by empowering subgroups to improve project management. As MIS provided foundational support across the entire organization for successful execution of the business, the result provided the potential for removing or reducing one of the prime factors for project failure by enhancing the communication capabilities of the organization (Morris, 2008). Nature of the Current Research Study The focus of the current research study was to address current organizational design from the perspective of the affect of organizational structure on communication to facilitate integration between groups or teams performing similar functions to support a MIS and identify possible alternatives for improved communication capabilities. The study type chosen to elicit an answer was a qualitative Delphi method using supporting quantitative data. The qualitative data in the form of answer to 5-point-Likert-type scale questions enabled a quantitative measure to evaluate a common understanding of the respondents for the qualitative analysis of the open-ended question responses. A Delphi method has a panel of experts to address a topic in a series of question rounds designed to create a mutual understanding and consensus agreement on the topic (Dalkey, 1967). The use of experts who review a topic for potential future implementation provides an

Full document contains 211 pages
Abstract: The purpose of the study was to examine the effects a bureaucratic organizational structure has on communication capability of management information systems to develop a new organizational design alternative. The study used a qualitative method with supporting quantitative data to collect information from a set of participants. A Delphi study was used to allow 15 experts in the field to share their knowledge and beliefs using collective intelligence to achieve consensus during a three round process. The results identified traditional organizational structures create vertical and horizontal boundaries impeding communication. The findings determined the critical aspects to improve communication through the reduction of boundaries was direct leadership support for a centralized management information system team with clear responsibility, accountability and authority to facilitate organizational communication. The recommendation was an organizational design composed of an Integrated Product Organization at the leadership level with membership at the sub-team level utilizing Cross-Integrated Teams. The benefit is an organizational design with a centralized team for common solution to mitigate horizontal boundaries and working level support to mitigate vertical boundaries. The recommendation may improve organizational communication to facilitate organizational success for leaders.