Anonymous. "Evaluating The Effectiveness Of The Nonprofit Board Of Directors." Management Resources. Minnesota: Council of Nonprofits, May 22, 1996.
A key element in organizational structure includes the degree of effectiveness with which an organization is run. This article stresses the importance of having an assessment process to help board members understand their roles, and to encourage fulfillment of board responsibilities. It also mentions that this process does not need to be complicated and gives an example of a mock situation where index cards are handed out at the conclusion of a meeting and members are asked to rate the meeting in various categories. The feedback from these questions can greatly help organizational effectiveness and therefore the structure. In addition to regular assessments there should be a more detailed and precise annual board assessment where the organization's goals can be matched with actual performance. The results can then be discussed at a later meeting. The article suggests a ranking system for each category such as "1= effective performance, 2= adequate performance, 3=inadequate performance, U=uncertain." The topics will vary for each organization ranging from board performance and attendance to other topics like strategic planning. The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits lists 14 possible categories to be rated by members.
Berg, Susan M. "Board Service Requires Time And Sometimes Money." Business First, Columbus, Vol.14 Issue 4, Sep.19, 1997.
This article discusses some factors that companies should consider before sending employees to volunteer on a nonprofit board. Susan Berg stresses the importance of understanding the organizational structure and of doing your "homework" to learn all about the organization. Ask questions before making a commitment to becoming a board member. Bank One, a company mentioned in the article, strongly encourages their employees to join boards because it is a "win-win" situation for all parties involved. When a person understands an organization and the demands associated with serving then being a board member can be a personally and professionally rewarding experience. Some of the most important aspects to consider before choosing to serve include an understanding and acceptance of the mission and knowing what is expected of board members both financially and the amount of time necessary to devote to the organization. It is essential to learn the structure of the organization before committing to serve. Bank One has found that morality, skill development and a sense of teamwork increased in employees who serve on various nonprofit boards. However, Bank One does stress that an individual must put the needs of their organization first.
Bhargava, Shivgansen & Sinha, Beena. "Prediction of Organizational Effectiveness as a Function of Type of Organizational Structure." Journal of Social Psychology, 132. Heldref Publications, 1992.
The authors examine how work inefficiency and bureaucratic problems are due to a hierarchal organizational structure. They studied 20 engineers after giving them a task to accomplish. The research design was a 2x2x2 factorial model. Scores were compiled using a three-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). Results indicate that a hierarchal structure hindered task completion. The results indicate that how an organization is structured has a link with effectiveness.
Connors, Tracy Daniel. The Nonprofit Handbook, New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1997.
Organizing is a method used to hold "pieces of life" together. An apartment, family, or business, all need organization to stay intact. A strong source of organization is strategic planning. Strategic planning begins with the leaders of the organization developing the necessary strategies to achieve the desired future. This form of planning deals strongly with customer/consumer wants and needs as well as operational performance requirements. This action produces a "map" or plan the organization will follow. The plan includes their vision of the future, which helps to keep the plan on the right track. Staying faithful to these objectives and skills help hold an organization together.
Eadie, Douglas C. "How To Design Effective Nonprofit Boards." Dallas Business Journal, Vol.23 Issue 44, Jun. 23, 2000.
This article addresses management principles for nonprofit organizations. The author lists a number of questions that board members should ask themselves in order to develop a structure and eventually a process that will help the organization effectively reach its mission. Nonprofits as a whole spend billions of dollars annually and employ millions of people, but they tend to not be very effective governing organizations. They work hard but don't always work together to develop a structure that will enhance effectiveness. The focus of the article is the importance of structuring an organization correctly. Therefore it is important to take some time when choosing members and assembling a board. Douglas Eadie ends the article by saying, "Some design is always better than none at all. The stakes are too high not to try."
Gassler, Robert Scott. The Economics of Nonprofit Enterprise, Lanham: University Press of America Inc., 1986.
This source uses organization through high definition points of view. Clearly stating, organizational skills range from stabilization to systematic. The book does not focus on why organizational skills are important. Instead, it tells the reader how to use the skills that it lists. Its approach is more process than theory. The author also instructs the reader on how to regulate power as well as how to deal with the power of others. This is a very strong book in the aspect of learning from other people's mistakes as well as learning from your own.
Gellerman, Saul. "In Organizations, As in Architecture, Form Follows Functions." Organizational Dynamics, 19. American Management Association, 1990.
Gellerman focuses in the relationship between organizational structure and crisis situations. He suggests changing organizational structure in order to have the best structure in a crisis situation. There are, however, options associated with this change. One option is not to change at all. This is the idea that "if it isn't broke, don't fix it." The next option is "trimming" of unnecessary staff. A third option is centralizing operations to one office. The fourth option, decentralizing, creates regional offices. The final option is to change the mission statement. Gellerman suggests that the best option depends upon the nature of the organization and notes that centralizing and decentralizing are a current trend.
Mason, David. Voluntary Non Profit Enterprise Management, New York: Plenum Press, 1984.
When running a business it is necessary to explore and determine what kind of organizational structure is good for your company and then develop it, always keeping in mind alternate options. The organization should have a flexible structure. Flexibility allows an organization to have plenty of cooperation, interaction, communication, and coordination. The communication is then networked to provide an advantage for the organization. Every level of a business should have its own method of organization. Although there will sometimes be sharing with other levels, every branch is unique thus causing every branch to have its own "unique" structure. Organization should be expressive as well as instrumental. Higher levels of the organization should have a powerful normative influence over the lower participants.
Schultz, Don. "Structural Straightjackets Stifle Integrated Successes." Marketing News, 33. American Marketing Association, 1999.
Shultz's article discusses how a problem with an organization's structure hinders a company's success because the problem structure won't allow combined activities between various departments within the organization. He describes departments as boxes with no movement, created with solid lines not to be crossed. His solution to this problem is to design organizations around customer groups rather than products, services, or functional groups. In this way, patrons find the organization more user friendly. Shultz says that the interaction between the organization and clients keeps the organization going, not the structured departments.