Ideas of Technology Structures and Social Boundaries for Organizations

Posted on March 22, 2022 by Cheapest Assignment

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Capstone Project

In modern days, organizations have become part of our social life due to the numerous interactions we have with them.  Organizations generally pose challenging aspects to our minds and hence necessary that we study them to understand how they function. This study includes understanding the organizational significance, how they operate in technical terms, boundaries and social structures. Having a clear definition of these elements gives a picture of the vagueness surrounding organizations at large. An organization is defined as a group of people who come together to work towards achieving a common goal or objective. Organizations are divided into several systems and understanding the influence the systems have on the social and technical parts of an organization offers more information on the characteristics. 

Case Study

Organizational Structure

This structure is a system that outlines how daily activities are conducted so as to achieve set goals of an organization. The activities include but are not limited to roles, responsibilities and rules. Additionally, organizational structure determines how information flows between the different levels in the firm. Organizational structures are important to ensure that firms are focused on the goals and efficient (Tolbert & Hall, 2015). There are four types of organizational structures namely: futarchy, matrix, divisional or functional. The Functional structure is the most common type also known as bureaucratic which usually divides an organization based on the specialization of the workforce. For example, a business using this structure divides the company into different departments such as marketing, operations, sales, accounting among others.

Divisional structure is also common among large organizations that have several business units. It is also known as a multidivisional structure where the leadership team is structured based on the projects, products or subsidiary branches they operate. In this structure, businesses with several product lines structure the leadership in a way that every company operates on its own. On the other hand, the futarchy is a new structure used majorly among startup businesses where the chain of command and hierarchy gives the employees autonomy (Jonathan, 2018). This structure enables new changes and implementation to get highly embraced and adopted. Lastly, the matrix structure is usually the most confusing therefore not widely used by organizations. The method used involves matrixes or employees across different departments ad divisions. For example, an employee in a company that has adopted this structure might be in charge of both sales and marketing having double duties in two different departments.

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Organizational Systems: Open, Natural and Rational

This is a system within an organization where feedback is regularly exchanged within the external environment. the aspects that are important to an open system include the external environment, boundaries and equifinality (Jonathan, 2018). In a healthy open system, feedback is exchanged, analyzed, internal systems adjusted accordingly to achieve set goals and the necessary information is transmitted back to the external environment (Tolbert & Hall, 2015). On the other hand, a natural system holds the idea that interpersonal and informal structures within an organization are more important than formal structures. Individuals with an organization have different ideas, opinions and multiple interests and building a consensus often drives organizations to achieve set objectives collectively. Lastly, the rational system focuses mainly on the formal structures of an organization and views an organization as a group of individuals working together to pursue set goals. According to this system, both informal and interpersonal structured are most important to an organization. 

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Technological Structures

Understanding organizational structures adopted is vital to ensure that Technology structures are better implemented. There four different structures of an organization discuss have different ways in which communication of duties is passed down. This communication thread is essential as it ensures companies know how best to adapt to any new technological changes (Garzella et al., 2020). There are several factors that influence the organizational structure and technology is one of them. Technology is known as the combination of employee skills and knowledge with technological devices within a company that converts inputs to outputs. In most cases, technology is negatively viewed by employees as overtaking their roles and duties. However, organizations are required to fully understand the mode used to implement new technology. This is important in adopting a culture where employees do not feel sidelined and see the benefits associated such as duties becoming easier and less complex. 

Organizational Social Boundaries

Organizational boundaries get defined as imaginary dividers that are meant to distinguish a firm from the external factors that are surrounding it and are usually nearby influences. There are different theories about how firm boundaries are identified (Tolbert & Hall, 2015). First, the theory of realist and nominalist approaches believe that organizational boundaries definition is dependent on who is defining them. In the realist approach, one of the members of a firm defines boundaries that are noticeable to them. The nominalist approach is used by researchers through the conceptual framework to identify the boundaries that are necessary for the organization’s success. Secondly, a temporal and spatial theory is used to define boundaries. The spatial organizational boundaries consist of a cubicle, retail store, work area, company office while the temporal boundary includes, individual schedules, opening hours or deadlines. Therefore, studying organizational boundaries varies depending on the focus where either the employees, office space activities or the events happening are all affected by the firm’s boundaries. 

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The technological structure requires humans to use and control the technology in the organization. For example, using computers requires an individual to feed in the required details to get resources (Garzella et al., 2020). Social boundaries are vital to understanding to know which individuals should be involved in the technological structure and to what extent. Boundaries should be placed accordingly; for example, in banks, managers’ offices have restricted personnel access as important information is guarded. Therefore, computers in managers offices are not for any other individuals meaning certain boundaries have been drawn. In the past it was difficult to differentiate between social and organizational boundaries but as the business world evolves it has become crucial to understand the differences. Social boundaries are vital to distinguish between the corporate and social environment especially when recruiting.  

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Technological Structure: Rational System Approach

In a rational system, the technology structure follows a certain criterion. First, an organization is an entity whose top priority is to attain desired results in a sensible system. In a rational system, all elements of technical requirements are to be arranged in a manner that ensures maximum efficiency. Organizations are required to seal the industrial department from any external influences that may cause delay in the effectiveness of the machines. Sealing out disturbances will ensure that the organization attains maximum efficiency (Garzella et al., 2020). The sealing can be done either through sorting out inputs used, coding or labelling the production process during insertion into the technical core. Sorting out materials also referred to as stockpiling involves having all the materials required so the individual involved will insert into the technical core hence controlling time. Additionally, the output can get stock pilled as demand is usually in plenty hence will easily be released into the market.

Natural System Approach

In this system, most organizations are guided by the complexity of the goals, informal structure and analysis of functions. Participants in this system are guided by their interests and behaviour. Technology in this system often shapes it in three different ways namely: need for knowledge, cultural and social factors and informal structure (Zonel & Hagedoorn, 2020). First, the need for tactic knowledge for all employees is emphasized in this system, unlike the rational system where the control of machines is left under the watch of engineers only.   According to the natural system, all employees should be given equal opportunities to learn, gain experience and knowledge on how to operate the technological devices. 

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Employees will therefore be at a better position to deal with organizations’ technology in times of uncertainty. Second, the informal structure considers technology a medium that assists people to better achieve set objectives. Therefore, technology should not be used to replace employees since the same individuals are required to control the machines. Third, the socio-cultural factors often dictate the level of performance of the firm. For instance, the culture in a firm depends on the complexity of technology, workers, hierarchy, and power differences. These elements affect the performance of employees hence the productivity of the company. The less sophisticated the technology used, the more likely employees will be willing to adopt it. 

Open System Approach

According to this approach, the organization and external environment are dependent on each other. For example, the environment produces information, resources that the organization requires such as energy and in turn the organization processes the material and feeds the environment with finished goods and services (Garzella et al., 2020). In this system the technology structure is normalized. Meaning that some rules and regulations are used to govern the technical elements of an organization. In this system, the organization is flexible and can make necessary adjustments and self-maintain. These adjustments are possible because the external environment and organization are interdependent. However, organizations with open systems find it hard to control technology due to the lack of boundaries.

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Social Boundaries: Rational System 

When it comes to recruitment organizations require to have set boundaries that separate the external environment and the organization. In the rational system, firms require to ensure that the recruitment procedure is logical and the external environment does not affect the procedure. In this system the individuals conducting recruitment ensure they choose people who make the organization rational.  These are individuals who can deliver the organizational goals as they are rational and goal delivery is dependent on the formal structure. Therefore, the employees are mandated to follow the rules and regulations stipulated by the company.  

Natural System 

Organizations in this system find it challenging to avoid external influence. Organizations are therefore required to work out achieving their set goals while carrying baggage from the external environment to effectively function (Zonel & Hagedoorn, 2020). Organizations are required to come up with ways to deal with external factors that may affect the business. For instance, organizational culture is reviewed to ensure that employees behave accordingly and practice business activities ethically. This particular system is found in places such as the army, schools and prisons. In these places, the people in leadership act as mentors and their behaviour goes along way into ruling out what is right or wrong.  In this organization, links from the external environment are cut and strict rules apply. 

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Open System

In this system, it is hard to differentiate between the external environment and the organization. This challenge is because the external environment and organization are interdependent (Tolbert & Hall, 2015).  The external environment offers resources the organization uses to provide output back to the environment. however, in this system organizations still have set rules and guidelines that govern employees’ behaviour and how to attain objectives. These rules also set boundaries between the organization and the external environment. Therefore, the employees are not allowed to pursue their personal interests at the expense of the company. Company goals and objectives are a top priority for all individuals within the company. 

What Areas of Technology Are an Issue for Participants?

There are several aspects of technology that are an issue to participants. First, the complexity of technology is demoralizing to participants. This fact may make the participants prefer hands-on work which is easy and they were already accustomed to compared to machines (Zonel & Hagedoorn, 2020). To ease these issues, organizations should ensure that employees are equipped with tactic knowledge and skills necessary to operate and control the machines. Second, lack o enough knowledge especially in companies that have adopted the rational system of approach. In this approach, the control of machinery is left to engineers only to attain efficiency. In times of uncertainty, the employees are cannot use the technology. Lastly, some participants view technology as a replacement for job positions. Therefore, organizations should ensure that they indicate technology implementation is a method for making production effective and participants are needed to manage them. 

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What Are the Issues with Organizational Boundaries for Participants?

There are several issues participants face in organizational boundaries such as how to differentiate the boundaries. This issue is because the external environment and organization interact or depend on each other. For instance, in a natural system, the organization is seen as a social unit that has needs that need to be performed by the participants for it to function. Participants in the two different systems may have problems as their work is seen differently. Therefore, the organization should ensure that the participants are familiar with the boundaries within the organization and the roles they are expected to play. 


Understanding organizational structure and how communication of information is done is crucial for the success of technology structures. In some systems, technology may negatively impact participants while in others it will flourish. This knowledge will ensure that participants understand that company goals are key and they cannot attain their personal interests at the expense of the company. In my view, the best system to use in technology implementation is the natural system. For organizational boundaries, the rational system will be helpful as it differentiates the organization’s goals influence from the external environment. 

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Garzella, S., Fiorentino, R., Caputo, A., & Lardo, A. (2020). Business model innovation in SMEs: the role of boundaries in the digital era. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 1-13. 

Jonathan, G. M. (2018). Influence of organizational structure on business-IT alignment: what we do (not) know. In 17th International Conference Perspectives in Business Informatics Research (BIR 2018), Stockholm, Sweden, September 24-26, 2018 (pp. 375-386). CEUR-WS. org.

Tolbert, P. S., & Hall, R. H. (2015). Organizations: Structures, processes and outcomes. Routledge. 

Zobel, A. K., & Hagedoorn, J. (2020). Implications of open innovation for organizational boundaries and the governance of contractual relations. Academy of Management Perspectives, 34(3), 400-423.

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