Much has been written on organizational structure and change management. Research commonly breaks down organizations into stages of growth or phases in a life cycle using varying factors and benchmarks. Depending on the article, the organization can be in any number of stages. However, there are definite commonalities that can be concluded amongst the differing research. For the purposes of our project, we focused on three articles that helped determine where STEM is and how our recommended changes can best be implemented.
Pathfinder International – Organizational Development ND Structure Pathfinder International, a developed and respected non-profit organization focused on a similar mission of sexual and reproductive health, offers a guide on analyzing and determining type of structure and level of growth for organizations. According to Pathfinder, STEM can best be described as a hierarchical structure. It is led by relatively few managers with few staff under each managers control. Managing is directive in nature and the organizational structure resembles a pyramid with a designated leader at the top.
Pathfinder uses four levels to categorize organizational growth; Emergent, Launch or Growth, Consolidation and Mature . Using the Pathfinder analysis, STEM is bet. Rene Consolidation and Maturity. It has met many but not all of the characteristics of Consolidation, such as having a developed organizational structure, increased diversity of donors, revenue and other support, as well as personnel policies implemented but not consistently followed. While not all wickets are met, STEM is also meeting some of the benchmarks of the Maturity growth phase.
The organization is able to support 30-50% of operations from self-generated revenues, staff is developed and training mechanisms are in place, and it has the ability to track cost and project revenue and expenditures. Organizations experiencing disparity between the different growth phases is common and expected. At Stem’s current pace, it will accomplish nearly all of the characteristics of an organization in the Consolidation phase and transition comfortably into the Maturity phase. Organizational Life Cycle: A Five-Stage Empirical Scale
An entry in the International Journal of Organizational Analysis by Donald L. Lester, John A. Parallel and Shawn Career created a five-stage model of organizational development and surveyed managers to empirically assess the specific stage of the cycle based on manager perception-2 Their model, which mirrored biological development, included Existence, Survival, Success, Renewal and Decline phases. According to their descriptions and data, STEM has completed the Survival stage and is transitioning into the Success stage, commonly referred to as Maturity.
The Survival stage is marked by an organization that is growing with established goals and distinctive competencies. Among the managers surveyed, organizations in the Survival Stage have established specialization and are monitoring performance, both traits STEM currently practices. According to the article, STEM is growing steadily and ready for the Success/Maturity stage, however, have not met any of the benchmarks associated with the stage. For example, they are not larger than most competitors and structure is not fully functional or formalized.
Evolution and Revolution as Organizations Grow L. Greener provided an updated republication of his off-cited 1972 Harvard Business Review work of the same name. First Greener examined how organizations develop using five dimensions, an organization’s age and size, its stage of evolution and revolution and the growth rate of its industry. 3 Using this framework, Greener examined five specific phases of evolution and revolution in the context of growth. His five phases of growth included, Creativity, Direction, Delegation, Coordination and Collaboration.
Each phase is accompanied by a specific period of evolution and revolution required to transition to the next phase. Stem’s growth can best be described as the second phase, Direction. It is experiencing a period of sustained growth with a functional organizational structure and formal communication between an established hierarchy. According to Greener, a revolution must occur to bring STEM to the third phase of growth. This revolution is based on restructuring the organization to incorporate more autonomy and empowering more employees, a key goal of our organizational structure recommendations.
Though the three different articles have varying views on growth and its characteristics. It is clear that SST SMS is on precipice of change. Its development has progressed positively and consistently, however, it is quickly entering a crucial period where decisions must be made to ensure continued success. In all three works, STEM is between phases of growth and at a vital time where correct implementation of change will ease the transition of growth phases.