On August 31, 1983 Korean Air Lines Flight 007, a Boeing 747 jumbo jet, departed from the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, made a stopover at the Anchorage International Airport at 13:00 GMT (4:00 a. m. Alaskan time), en route to Seoul, South Korea. It was carrying 269 people, composed of 3 flight crew, 20 cabin attendants, 6 other KAL employees, and 240 passengers (including one sitting US Congressman -Georgia Democrat Larry McDonald, and air marshals). Because of strong tail winds, it was delayed at the Anchorage International Airport for one hour.
It passed through the Soviet air space off the Kamchatka coast, and was lost. Until today, evidences regarding the actual series of events are incomplete and inconclusive. It reportedly deviated from its flight path and was shot down by a Sukhoi 15 piloted by Russian Air Force Maj. Osipovich. By a series of errors, from programming the INS to shortcutting SOPs, the jumbo jet was mistaken by the Soviets as a reconnaissance plane of the US Air Force over the Russian airspace, and was shot down, killing all people on board.
There was outrage after the incident, but it was a clear illustration of organizational cluelessness, resulting in tragedy. And it is happening not just in air travel, but in the corporate world as well. Enron and General Motors, and recently the Subprime cases of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, would be some of the famous cases where organizational tragedies caused by cluelessness of managers and top people in organizations caused the latter to crash. From experiences, it could be said that organizations are complex, surprising, deceptive, ambiguous, and people inside it are not really sure where the problem is or what’s going on.
It could also be said that people in an organization are not sure what they want, what are the resources they need, who is supposed to do what needs to be done, how to get what the organization wants, or if the organization failed or succeeded. Organizational learning is very important, according to Peter Senge, in which people in the organization learn best from experiences, but however, do not know the consequences of their actions. Organizations have their virtues and drawbacks.
The prevalence of large, complex organizations is historically recent, and much of society’s important work is done in or by organizations. However, they often produce poor service, defective or dangerous products and too often they exploit people and communities, and damage the environment. In order to improve organizations, authors Lee Bolman and Terrence Deal suggested in their book “Reframing Organizations” some strategies to improve organizations which would involve better management, consultants, and government policy and regulation.
It involves using “frames”, which are mental maps to read and negotiate a “territory”. The better the map, the easier it is to know where you are and get around (a map of New York won’t help in San Francisco). Frame can also be seen as a window to enable one to see some things, but not others. A frame can be a tool for effectiveness depending on whether one chose the right tool and if he/she knows how to use it. References: Bert Schlossberg. (June 12, 2005 ). KAL 007 Revisited (Part 1). Available: http://www. airliners. net/aviation-articles/read. main?
id=72. Last accessed 31 May 2010. Lee G. Bolman & Terrence E. Deal (2003). Reframing Organizations: artistry, choice, and leadership. , San Francisco, California: John Wiley and Sons. 1. Structural Frame The Structural Frame is one of the tools by which to reframe organizations, according to authors Lee Bolman and Terrence Deal. This particular frame views organizations with structural assumptions, having structural forms and functions and structural tensions. This particular frame deals with how to organize and structure groups and teams to get results.
Through Structural Assumptions, an organization achieves established goals and objectives, and increase efficiency and performance via specialization and division of labor. There are appropriate forms of coordination and control through this frame. Structural frame also assumes that organizations work best when rationality prevails. To do so, structure must align with circumstances. Problems arise from structural deficiencies. Frederick Taylor and Max Weber were among the forerunners of Structuralist views.
Taylor, in his work on Scientific Management, studied on efficiency, time and motion studies, etc. Max Weber, in his studies on bureaucracy on the other hand, dealt with fixed division of labor, hierarchy of offices, performance rules, separate personal and official property and rights, personnel selected for technical qualifications and employment as primary occupation. This is a frame for small groups in which there is one boss, and there is a task oriented dual authority. Hierarchy is simple and in layers. There are circle borders in the organizational structure with "web inclusion".
Structural forms and functions, a top down approach, is a blueprint for expectations and exchanges among internal and external players. There are specialized tasks, sequential work, and close supervision. Its design options are almost infinite and needs to fit with circumstances. This frame produces stable environments, and is hierarchies and rule oriented. Here, rationality prevails over personal and external pressure, and there is an increase in efficiency through specialization and division of labor. To ensure success, there are forms of coordination and control. Problems are solved through restructuring.