Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Transformations of organizational structures

If you have heard my talks in the past several years, then you know that I get interested in industry organization and reorganization, especially with regard to the telecommunications industry. Thus, I found this article interesting.

Quoting the article

In brief, most companies today are still an unnatural bundle of three fundamentally different, and often competing, business types:

  • Infrastructure management businesses – high volume, routine processing activities like running basic assembly line manufacturing, logistics networks or routine customer call centers
  • Product innovation and commercialization businesses – developing, introducing and accelerating the adoption of innovative new products and services
  • Customer relationship businesses – building deep relationships with a target set of customers, getting to know them very well and using that knowledge to become increasingly helpful in sourcing the products and services that are most relevant and useful to them
These three business types remain tightly bundled together within most companies today even though they have completely different skill sets, economics and cultures required for success. Inevitably, companies deeply compromise on their performance as they seek to balance the competing needs of these business types. More broadly, this tight bundling decreases agility and diminishes learning capacity.
So how does this apply to the structure of the information organizations that we study? Has anyone taken this kind of analysis to a library?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ask not just to the library but to the university, the professional schools and academic depts across the board. For many people working in the industry, its been said for many years that organizations were losing sight of quality, people/customer service, and focused on corporate/business mentality, partly because they had to financially, but it has not always worked in terms of quality service rankings. Jet Blue and Southwest airlines are just a few examples to throw out there. Pay for pillows ? Add more fees for poor service ? Because libraries work directly with their customer community whether in person or remotely these questions will remain at the forefront of their mission.