Structural and Organizational Environment Analysis Based on English Writing Course
2019-08-27 03:34:00 速读·中旬 2019年8期
Organizations can be thought of as environments with a purpose.All environments have purposes，some expressed and some implied.（Strange & Banning，2001）.As an English writing class，it is also an organization with a clear purpose of solving English writing problems and improving academic writing skills of students who use English as second language.While this organization works well overall，it still has some problems.From Strange and Bannings words，seven structural components are posted： complexity，centralization，formalization，stratification，production，efficiency，and morale.All of these components can impact the characteristics of an organization.
Some English writing class is characterized by low degrees of complexity.For example，there could be two roles or units in the class which are students and professor.The number of students should be less than twenty.The professors basic responsibility is helping students learn，including teaching，leading students to find their problems and answering their questions.Students should finish their assignments，engage in discussions and find their problems in academic writing.When students need to discuss some questions or do some group work，the professor divides students into groups randomly.Thus，students can learn in community and communicate with different people who have diverse cultural background，and study in a multicultural way.
Organizational centralization refers to the way in which power is distributed in a setting.This kind of class is highly centralized by the professor.The professor makes all of the decisions about the syllabus.However，the problem is that the whole course syllabus usually is given to students in the first class，and the professor just reads it to students without any discussion.Although there may be some presentations and groupwork in the whole semester，the teaching form still relies mainly on lecturing.The forms and topics of presentations are still controlled by the professor.
Courses have high degrees of formalization because of organizational rigidity and inflexibility.In recent English writing courses，there are many rules to keep students attention.For attendance，arriving more than ten minutes late to class equals to one absence.More than three unexcused absences will result in a lowered grade，and students cannot pass this class with more than six absences.For Assignments，all assignments should be handed in on the day it is due.Late work will receive a grade penalty.Strange and Banning also mentioned that stratification is the differential distribution of rewards.In this kind of class，the best reward would be a high grade for every assignment and the final exam.The other reward can be the knowledge which students have learned.Students will get different grades by varying degrees of their efforts.Student who make efforts to finish every assignment and get involved to the discussion in every class can get a higher grade and learn more than others.
The level of production of this kind of class may not be very high，and the efficiency may not be satisfying by students.Due to the size of the course，the professor gives students abundant time to answer everyones question and get feedback on assignments.The professor always answers questions one by one.It is more like a tutor not a professor in a class.When the professor talks to a student，the others can only wait.Some students have more questions，and the professor spends a long time on solving these problems person-to-person.It is a slow-moving process.The time could be managed better to improve efficiency.
The last component is morale，which is a summary measure of many aspects associated with participating in any particular organized system，and it is usually reflected in the rate of turnover in the system.Students still have a high level of morale，because students and the professor have the same purpose.In this purposeful classroom，to improve the morale of students，the professor needs to give students more opportunities to engage in discussion.Through all these structural components of campus environment，I believe that this class is much closer to the static organizational pattern，because it is rigid in design and in resistant to change.It is characterized by lower degrees of complexity，higher centralization，formalization，and stratification，though the level of efficiency and production are not very high.