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Departmentalism vs integrated departmentalism

Grouping of functions and functionaries into departments is a standard organization development practice, which is known as departmentalism. Up to that extent it is well and good. The complexity and the consequent confusion step in only when one seeks inter departmental collaboration. The interesting factor is that this area of organization development has almost similar problems and challenges in public and private organizations alike.

There can be strategy, structure, function and occupant related problems. Most often, the chief executives who burn out time to fix the issues that prevent their departments from achieving organization’s objectives, find that tackling of occupant related problems is the toughest job. It becomes the toughest because it deals with the organizational culture that is the sum total of professional ethics of each individual in the organization. However, in structural as well as personnel refinements, the organization should focus on integration and thereby capacitating each department and its personnel to function in a mutually supplementary and complementary manner with other departments/personnel – it is actually integrated or organic departmentalism.  The most important benefit of integrated/organic departmentalism is the convergence of efforts and resources for the effective, efficient and timely attainment of organizational goals.

To lean integrated departmentalism, one needs to look into the functioning of one’s body alone. Functioning of each part/organ of your body is integrated into the function of other parts, and convergence of the contribution of all parts of the body results in your wellbeing. When this integration is weakened you are ill and when it is lost you are dead.


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