E B John’s letter in the February 27 issue of the Stabroek News titled ‘A constitutional conundrum has arisen’ presents a rather simplistic, mechanistic view of Organizational Design (OD). OD is essentially a guide for communication and human relationships at work, not an inflexible ‘engineering’ structure.
Management gurus like Prof Paterson (under whose direct tutelage Mr John and I had the privilege of studying at the University of Strathclyde in the UK) elaborated brilliantly on ‘structural, sapiential and moral authority’ which eschew mindless, automatic adherence to cold, hard rules and rigid channels of communication.
More recently, Laszlo Bock, visionary Head of Google’s ‘People Operation’ declared in his highly acclaimed publication on Work Rules that “if you are comfortable with the amount of freedom you’ve given your employees, you haven’t gone far enough”. While this might be a slight exaggeration to make his point , there can be no doubt that the command and control approach with immutable lines of communication, as graphically depicted by Mr John, are anathemic to staff resilience and development, which are ever so necessary in our dynamic world with rising levels of education and intelligence.