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Deliverable 3 – NoJax Structure Analysis

Competency
This competency will allow you to break down the structure and purpose of an organization and how it aligns with employee objectives.
Instructions
In your continued role as the organizational behavior consultant for NoJax Inc., you have now been tasked with analyzing the current structure of the business and how it’s impacting employee behaviors.Use the NoJax Company Background document as a reference, and pay special attention to the policy and structure sections of the document. Write a report for senior management that provides observations on the overall structure of the business and the implications it may have on organizational behavior. Be sure your report addresses the following:

Choose a minimum of three of the six organizational behavior structure characteristics (span of control, chain of command, etc.). Describe each in terms of how they’re used within NoJax’s structure, and provide an opinion about whether it has a positive or negative influence on NoJax’s organizational behavior. Be sure to support and explain your opinion with observations from the background document.
Identify the type of organizational structure that NoJax is currently using. Provide an opinion about whether it has a positive or negative influence on NoJax’s organizational behavior. Be sure to support and explain your opinion with observations from the background document.
Rank decision-making power, creativity, and ease of communication from most important to least important for NoJax’s success. Explain if you think NoJax’s current structure is effectively cultivating the characteristic you have ranked as most important. Be sure to support and explain your opinion with observations from the background document.

NoJax Inc. Company Background

NoJax Inc. is a small American company that designs and manufactures specialized athletic shoes, clothing, and accessories. The business was first started in 2010 when two cousins, Noah and Jaxson Williams, recognized that very few quality options were available for people that led an active lifestyle, specifically regular gym goers. This realization led the Williams cousins to create a shoe prototype designed with weight lifters in mind. The first shoe, dubbed the NJ Elite, emphasized comfort and support that wouldn’t interfere with weight lifting form while exercising. As the NJ Elite gained popularity with local retailers, NoJax expanded their offerings into sports apparel. Since then growth has been tremendous, and NoJax has grown from those small local stores carrying their products to over 200 retailers nationwide. Currently, NoJax has four main areas of focus: shoes for running, apparel for running, shoes for weight lifting, and apparel for weight lifting.
The NoJax brand is targeted at the fitness lifestyle. This psychographic segmentation strategy goes beyond typical demographic boundaries and has allowed them to position themselves as a high quality option for people serious about exercise. While this is currently a niche market, it’s a market that continues to grow as cultural trends shift more towards health and wellness. Much of NoJax’s marketing involves online advertising with fitness websites and sponsoring fitness competitions, such as the CrossFit Games and the Chicago Marathon.
Revenue for the business has grown consistently as their market and the consumer base has expanded. Last year, NoJax earned $6 million in sales with a 15% profit margin, which is above industry average. The brand is moderately priced when compared to the competition. Shoes sell for around $80, shirts go for $50, and pants average a sales price of $60.
NoJax is currently considering expansion into other markets. However, they have decided to bring in an outside consultant to analyze the company’s design for its impact on organizational behavior. Other than the addition of new product lines, very little about the company has been updated or changed since their operation began. NoJax senior management is concerned that the outdated company design and the new employees that they’ve hired may be negatively impacting the business’ effectiveness. Below is data for the consultant on the company structure, policy, and key employees.

NoJax Inc. Company Structure

NoJax Inc. currently uses the matrix structure pictured below. Product managers each oversee a single specific product line. There are currently four product managers that oversee four different types of products. Those products are running shoes, running apparel, weight lifting shoes, and weight lifting apparel. There are also three different departments with their own expertise. Those departments are Design, Marketing, and Research and Development (R&D). The Senior Management team currently consists of the two company founders, Noah and Jaxson Williams. There are a total of 50 employees working at NoJax in the positions shown below.

Senior Management

Orlando Grant R&D Manager
Janet Johnson Marketing Manager
Alice Bloom Design Manager

Carrie Durant Running Shoes Manager

Jesse Mercado Running Apparel Manager

Lynn Bryant Lifting Apparel Manager

Anam Basra Lifting Shoes Manager

NoJax Inc. Policy

· NoJax currently adheres to a very centralized power and decision making structure.
· Employees are heavily monitored in order to make them as efficient as possible at their positions. This includes weekly status meetings with managers and daily activity reports that must be filled out by each employee.
· When decisions do have to be made it generally requires multiple approvals from both direct managers and someone from the senior management team. Routine decisions regularly take 48 hours to be made.
· Disagreements between the product and department managers happen frequently and a clear mediation process for these instances has yet to be developed.
· Roles and members of teams stay consistent. Employees do not rotate through positions at the company and are restricted from changing teams.
· Job tasks and design is very clearly defined with little variation between roles.
· Yearly evaluations of employees include ranking all of the employees in the company. Raises are handed out based on each employee’s ranking. The top workers can receive up to a 6% raise and the bottom employees receive no raise.
· All employees are paid a base salary. Pay is slightly above industry average, and employees average 50 hours of work in a week.
· NoJax does offer health and dental to employees but nothing in the form of investments or retirement plans.
· The hiring process at NoJax Inc. includes individual interviews with a product manager, a department manager, and then senior management. Typical time from receiving a resume to being hired is three months.
· Employees are allocated ten days off a year. Those days are meant to cover everything. This includes sick days, vacation, and personal days. Any days missed past that must be emergencies with some form of proof, such as a doctor’s note.
· Human Resource responsibilities are handled by the senior management team, as an actual HR department has never been created.
· All manufacturing and distribution of NoJax products are outsourced to third-party partner businesses.
· Discipline at NoJax works on a point system. Infractions, such as being late or acting out, cause employees to accumulate points. After an employee reaches 10 points they are written up. An additional 10 points can lead to a suspension. Points reset every calendar year and there is no carry over from the previous year.

Employee:
Alice Bloom
· Position: Design Department Manager
· Sex: Female
· Age: 62
· Race: Caucasian
· Work Experience: 40 years
· Education: High School Diploma
· Personality:
· Extraversion–High
· Emotional Stability–Medium
· Openness–Low
· Conscientiousness–Medium
· Agreeableness–Low

Employee:
Janet Johnson
· Position: Marketing Department Manager
· Sex: Female
· Age: 27
· Race: African American
· Work Experience: 5 years
· Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing
· Personality:
· Extraversion–High
· Emotional Stability–Low
· Openness–High
· Conscientiousness–Medium
· Agreeableness–Medium

Employee:

Orlando Grant
· Position: Research and Development Department Manager
· Sex: Male
· Age: 29
· Race: African American
· Work Experience: 4 years
· Education: Associate’s Degree in Marketing
· Personality:
· Extraversion–High
· Emotional Stability–High
· Openness–High
· Conscientiousness–Low
· Agreeableness–Medium

Employee:
Carrie Durant
· Position: Running Shoes Product Manager
· Sex: Female
· Age: 41
· Race: Caucasian
· Work Experience: 12 years
· Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Communications
· Personality:
· Extraversion–Medium
· Emotional Stability–Medium
· Openness–Medium
· Conscientiousness–Medium
· Agreeableness–High

Employee:

Jessie Mercado
· Position: Running Apparel Product Manager
· Sex: Female
· Age: 34
· Race: Hispanic
· Work Experience: 10 years
· Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management
· Personality:
· Extraversion–Low
· Emotional Stability–Medium
· Openness–Medium
· Conscientiousness–High
· Agreeableness–High

Employee:

Lynn Bryant
· Position: Lifting Shoes Product Manager
· Sex: Female
· Age: 52
· Race: Caucasian
· Work Experience: 20 years
· Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology
· Personality:
· Extraversion–Medium
· Emotional Stability–High
· Openness–Medium
· Conscientiousness–High
· Agreeableness–Medium

Employee:

Anam Basra
· Position: Lifting Apparel Product Manager
· Sex: Female
· Age: 38
· Race: Pakistani
· Work Experience: 10 years
· Education: Master’s Degree in Sports Management
· Personality:
· Extraversion–Medium
· Emotional Stability–Medium
· Openness–Low
· Conscientiousness–High
· Agreeableness–High

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The three most common organizational structures are the simple structure, the bureaucracy structure, and the matrix structure. Each provides a company with different benefits and risks. Each also impacts the behaviors of the employees differently. Making the right decision regarding which structure to implement can be tricky. There is no single correct choice for every situation. Structures must evolve and adapt to suit the business. Management has to be aware of the company and employee needs, and make the choice that best fits their business at the time.
Read more to learn about simple structure, bureaucracy structure, and matrix structure.

1. Simple Structure

 

The simple structure is typically seen in smaller businesses searching for a simpler way to design the company. There are very few layers of management and wide spans of control for the employees. Most of the power is centralized on a single person, such as the owner. It allows for fast decision-making. Typically, this is where a business starts when they’re first getting going. It frees up employees’ behaviors and lets management see what they have in terms of employee attitudes and skills. These can all be great benefits as long as the business doesn’t outgrow the simple structure strategy. Expanding businesses will quickly need more complex structures to deal with new needs and mold employee interactions.

2. Bureaucracy Structure

 

The bureaucracy structure (also called functional structure) focuses on preparing employees to specialize in routine tasks. This usually means creating functional departments where every employee in a group has similar knowledge and responsibilities. Businesses will create departments, such as finance, marketing, and human resources, where everyone in the chain of command has an understanding of the department that they work in. Advantages of this structure include limiting the hiring of unnecessary employees and fostering the ability to specialize in a specific function due to working alongside peers involved with the same aspect of the company. The downside is that this can wall departments off from each other. Employees in the marketing department, for instance, are never quite sure what their coworkers in other departments are doing because they only interact with other employees involved with marketing.

3. Matrix Structure

 

The matrix structure is a combination of functional and divisional structures. Employees have a manager for their functional department as well as a different manager overseeing the project that they’re currently working on. Within that project team, there will normally be people from many different functional departments. This allows for a very flexible business that can communicate quickly. It also overcomes the walled off communication that becomes an issue with the bureaucracy structure. However, the presence of extra managers makes this structure more expensive to maintain. There can also be power struggles between the functional and project managers leading to stressed employees and unclear communication.

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