Saturday, September 12, 2015

Experience with Expanding Organizations

Earlier this year, I decided to get a part-time job as an Office Assistant at a seemingly small educational nonprofit organization in downtown Champaign. While to me, it initially appeared to be a small institution, it was much larger in its operations and had most of Champaign-Urbana's schools affiliated with it. It was the first time I had given an interview, and an interesting aspect of this particular one was to interview a different pool of applicants applying there that same day. After a successful day, it was a week of training before I actually began working in my position as office assistant.
My only real experience with organizations prior to this was in the position of Treasurer of an RSO that focused on subcontinental culture and history. It was a small organization, but we were an ambitious lot and we found ways to grab a massive audience and create very successful projects where it was possible to showcase the various shades of the vivid spectrum that made the subcontinental countries what they are.
I mention both of these because the aspects of time and transition within organizations affected the RSO very differently from the nonprofit organization.

The nonprofit organization developed into a much larger firm over the course of the three months I worked there, while the RSO was disbanded despite all our efforts to keep our organization functional and operating. The main problem was its adaptability to the effect of time and the nature of an organization as propagation changes it.

A transaction cost is defined as the cost incurred through an economic exchange, or the cost of market participation by an entity. I experienced different aspects of transaction costs through the two different entities.
From the RSO, we had issues with costs pertaining to search and information, purely out of lack of manpower and resources, while the same issues made us fall short of avoiding the potential policing and enforcement costs that were incurred. In a way, though, it may also be the case that our operations system itself was flawed, and something that was flawed from its foundations can rarely cope without drastic change. 
From my nonprofit organization, however, the above costs were well-taken care of through the specialized positions that were given to the more experienced and educated members of the firm. It was mostly a pseudo-flat hierarchy, since there was an established one, but when it came to actually operating, it was not something that was strictly followed, due to the ambience and nature of the people that worked there. It was a very relationship-based workspace, and that helped in making an environment suitable for individuals to find their own inspiration to increase productivity.

1 comment:

  1. You opted to talk about two different experiences in organizations, I gather because in one case the organization succeeded while in the second case it failed. But the consequence of this choice was to write so little about each that I as a reader has no understanding about why these consequences obtained. I would have preferred you to stick to one example only and then give more of a story about that.

    Also, I'm not sure I understand what you said. It sounded like after you were interviewed by the non-profit, they had you in the same day serve as interviewer. Is that right? If so, why did they do that?

    You did not elaborate at all on what your duties were as office assistant, what sort of oversight you had, and how you interacted with the others who worked in the office.

    You said the structure was flat. But without explaining the nature of the work, it is hard to understand whether structure mattered. Indeed your last paragraph could use a good deal of unpacking to have it make sense to the reader (me) who has no experience with the office. As it currently reads it sounds like it worked well because it worked well, which is not very helpful.

    So I encourage you to amplify on what you've already said and explain things further.