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Using an algorithmic approach for grouping roles and sub-units
A key task in organization design is to group elements (e.g., roles) into sub-units (e.g., teams or departments). This task is computationally challenging as one must take into consideration a potentially large number of interdependencies between the elements. It also requires data about work processes in the organization, which are rarely present. We have initiated a research program that aims at developing a tool—Reconfig—to improve grouping decisions. It first collects data from employees about their working relationships (i.e., interdependencies) and then uses a computer algorithm to cluster the data in the most optimal manner. The clustered solution represents the formal structure that minimizes coordination costs by grouping the most highly interdependent elements together. We describe the tool, report on two pilot applications, and discuss both the future potential and limitations of the approach.
Projects from across the world
The Dutch government decided to delegate responsibilities in the social domain from the national level to the city level. With Reconfig, consultant Berenschot helped the organization of a city with 2,200 employees to prepare for accepting new tasks.
Sustainable Rice Platform
SRP is a global multi‐stakeholder alliance with over 100 institutional members from the public and private sector. With the help of Reconfig, consultant Jeffrey Wright advised on optimizing SRP’s governance model to prepare the global rice sector for a healthy, inclusive, and sustainable future.
To integrate a newly acquired business, a US-based Renewable Energy Company had to streamline its post-merger organization. Leading North Advisors (LNA) used the Reconfig platform to identify an alternative organizational structure that reduced complexity and increased performance by 25%.
Together with our Indian partner PeopleWiz, Reconfig analyzed the current collaboration patterns for one of the leading Indian startup incubators. As a result, we were able to reduce coordination overload through a better organizational structure.