Diagnosis: At the Organization, Group and Individual Level

Diagnosing: Organizational Level

An organization is considered an open system when it is impacted and influenced in many ways by the environment in which it exists. In order to function properly, the external environment must be taken into consideration at all times. The organization must understand the environment to respond to it effectively while accomplishing its mission. This type of organization can be diagnosed at three different levels: Organizational, Group and Individual.

The Organizational level is looked at in three phases: Inputs, System Designs and Outputs. First, the practitioner wants to look at the inputs which require them to understand the general environment and industry structure. Secondly, it is necessary to look at the design components which consist of technology, strategy, structure, human resource systems, and measurement systems that exist internally. This creates a process through which the organization arrives at its goals or outputs.  This is seen in organizational effectiveness, productivity, and stakeholder satisfaction. Once the practitioner and the key stakeholders review this information, they have a useful starting  point to determine how well the organization is functioning.

Group Level

The second level of diagnosis would be on the Group level. On this level the focus would primarily be on the input of organizational design. This speaks to how the organization is designed to function within the general structure of the organization with a greater focus on its inner workings. The internal systems have key components that need to be observed such as task structure, goal clarity, team functioning, group composition, and group norms. The Group level gives the practitioner a closer look at what the culture is, how communication flows, and how well each component is aligned with the overarching design of the organization. The outputs examined in this case are team effectiveness, quality of work life, and performance. Observations on this level must consider whether or not the group design is properly aligned and embedded in the larger group. It is very important that each segment of the organization is in sync and balanced with the other so that all the components of the system flow properly for the most effective results.

Individual Level

Individual jobs have specific designs to accomplish specific tasks that need to be performed through certain processes. Characteristics of individuals working these jobs will be effective based on the level of skills, maturity, education, and experience with the jobs. In addition, individual needs and expectations have to be considered on the Individual level of diagnoses. Individual growth levels can be a factor in self-direction, learning, and motivation when it comes to the job fit. Inputs on the Individual level focuses on organizational design, group design and personal characteristics. Design components consist of skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback.

Skill variety is the degree to which a job requires a range of activities and abilities to perform the work. Task identity measures the degree to which a job requires the completion of a relatively whole, identifiable piece of work. Task significance identifies the degree to which a job has a significant impact on other people’s lives.  Autonomy indicates the degree to which a job provides freedom and discretion in scheduling the work and determining work methods.  Feedback speaks to the degree by which the job provides employees with direct and clear information about the effectiveness of task performance. The Individual level of diagnosis is important to ensuring that the right people are fitted to the right job which in turn promotes good attitudes and work environments that are conducive to productivity. Ultimately, the goal is to create opportunity for individual effectiveness, job satisfaction, performance, and personal development.

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