From the article written by Carol Hilderbrand entitled “Mapping the invisible workplace,” it has been mentioned that the organizational chart is something that has only guided the organizations with regard to the positions each one take along with the job descriptions they hold but another means through which tasks are easily completed. There is a heightened awareness that there are corporate social networks that provide for a relatively easier and more efficient way to have the tasks of the company done and the goals reached.
It is likewise mentioned that there are people who are identified to be socially related to a significant number of people in the organization and this enables them to have a greater influence that they use to accomplish certain goals. While it is drawn from the article that a significant portion of the organizational goals and the work that needs to be done to achieve this lies within the reliance on corporate social networks, it can be said that the links formed between the employees based on their social relationships are significant only to a certain extent.
People are able to accomplish their goals through the use of their personal affiliations and to those whom they communicate often to get the work done. For example, it is cited in the article that in order to provide for small changes within the organizations, one can follow the hierarchical structure. On the other hand, one can use the social networks that exist within the society to make great leaps and in great endeavors. However, this is seen to be applicable only to particular areas where it is possible to use the informal lines of networks established within the organization.
There remains a greater role that the formal structures provided play in terms of how an organization functions. This is for several reasons that are not given light by the article. First, the formal structures allow for the clear delineation between what one can do and what one is supposed to do. Indeed, there are people within several organizations who exhibit a greater sense of influence than the rest. The influence they possess is the one they use for the purpose of completing tasks that may or may not be within the sphere of their job description.
If these are still included within what they are tasked to do, then this is permissible. However, if the formal structures are kept out of mind to allow for the use of social networks, then there is a possibility that disorder within the organization occurs with the mishandling of responsibilities. Second, the use of social networks may have ethical implications. There are particular instances where the use of social networks is against the ethical rules that are allowed within the organization.
Depending on the nature of the organization, there are certain lines that are drawn for the purpose of making the work more efficient and secure. For organizations, there are essential units that are created through departmentalization and this is done because there is a need to do so and is related to the structure and goals that need to be achieved. This requires that to make work easier, more efficient, and ethical, one must go through the lines that are patterned according to how it is needed in the organization.
For example, a subordinate is not to bypass his/her superior simply because there is a social network created that leads him/her to the higher management. Third, the formal structures are created for a purpose. In several organizations, there are reasons as to why the organizational structure is formed as such and this is done in light of the mission and vision that they have. Thus, it is still important to keep this into consideration because the framers of the organization may have good reasons why they have to keep the structure that way.
If not, then it might be better to reconsider the formal structure and provide for a reconstruction to allow for a more efficient work environment. However, it is not sometimes the structure that is in disorder but the people within the organization. It can not be seen where leadership and management may come from and this might be from two different persons. It is not at all time that those who hold the characteristics of being a leader who initiates changes and those who are managers who holds for directional activities is only one individual.
There is an emerging need for individuals to acquire both managerial and leadership skills because of the changing requirements of competitiveness among organizations. It might be that the most relevant action that needs to be done is align the individuals according to their skills to get things done. It can not be held true that the organizations rely greatly on the social networks they have established to bring their operations into full swing. There are certain instances where this is deemed applicable and is the most appropriate means.
However, it remains that the formal structures within the organization should be considered. It is a better picture if the organization is able to merge the organizational chart with that of the social networks through a mapping and identification of the social networks in existence. Thus, it can be said that the social networks are applicable to organizations because those who make up the organizations are social animals that can not separate their social relationships even with work.
There still exists their need to constantly interact in social terms. However, it is to be noted that this should be limited to a certain extent that is deemed healthy for the people and the organization as well. It can not always be that it is the one being relied upon by the employees for their work to move. The right mix between the formal organizational structure and that of the social networks created is the situation that is seen to bring the optimal efficiency within the organization.