Robbin’s organizational model portrays the organization as a product of three components namely complexity, formalization, and centralization (Pertusa-Ortega, Zaragoza-Sáez, & Claver-Cortés, 2010). Complexity is the degree to which the organization differentiates its operations. Most organizations differentiate operations horizontally, vertically, or spatially. Formalization refers to the level of job specialization. The magnitude of formalization varies with the type and size of organization. Centralization is the degree to which the power of decision-making is concentrated at one point. Complexity, formalization, and centralization are impacted by technology in various ways.
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With regard to complexity, technology shapes the way an organization sets up different units and hierarchical level, as well as where it locates its premises (Grint & Woolgar, 2013). A company that uses technology in production is likely to be horizontally differentiated according to nature of tasks and capabilities of machinery. Technology may also lead to the elimination of specific units, particularly ones that contribute to waste or those for which tasks are completely automated. A company may also choose location based on availability and affordability of certain technologies required in the firm’s operations. For instance, technology companies tend to locate their factories in china because of availability of technology among other factors.
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Formalization is also impacted significantly by technology. Notably, technology affects not only how tasks are undertaken but also the level of expertise needed to operate machinery (Grint & Woolgar, 2013). Some jobs may be entirely replaced by automated machines while others may require individuals to shift their roles. Finally, technology can make it easier for a company to manage its operations from a centralized position because of its ability to facilitate communication, task automation, and efficiency (Grint & Woolgar, 2013).
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In conclusion, technology impacts complexity, formalization, and centralization in various ways. Key areas of impact include differentiation, specialization, and management styles. A notable example of how technology has transformed organizations can be revealed by Amazon’s use of robots and ecommerce in the management of inventory and delivery of orders to customers.
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