Organizational Structure as an Academy

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Organizational Structure as an Academy

What I do want in this post is explore how one might approach structuring the curriculum of an organization. The goal of such a curriculum is to develop professionals in all types of roles, in such a way that performance at the top level or grade of that role type can be matched to a specific academic achievement level from a professional academic degree perspective.

This is not to suggest that academic achievement is a goal, on the contrary, the intent is to promote the professionalism in every type of role by legitimizing, through role design and work-based learning experiences, the body of professional knowledge and task mastery represented by performance in those roles at a specific level.

The 2 previous posts that introduce some of the foundational thoughts that this current post builds on are below: 

Organizational structure as an explicit representation of organizational core capabilities – Click to access

  • The relevance of this post is in the idea that each function that an organization sets up with a distinct identity represents specific value and results the organization now requires from the related professional domains of practice.
  • The strength of the required capability in the organization now becomes the responsibility of this distinct function
  • In contrast, when the function didn’t exist, the capability was left to the existing functions to figure out and develop on their own. 

 Enabling career and professional development through work experience – click to access

The relevance of this post is the view I presented of the different types of work in the organization and how levels of capability vary within each type especially with regard to task proficiency and theoretical knowledge.

The essence of the idea is that professionalism exists in all types of work and the development experience in organisations can match academic achievements from a professional or practitioner perspective

The view of professionalism in all types of roles is indicated below:

  • Professionalism at the craft or vocational level of operational / technical work
  • Professionalism at the scholarly knowledge level of professional work
  • Professionalism in the management level and
  • Professionalism in the executive level 

Hypothetical Organisational Academy Curriculum Structure 

The organization is viewed as a curriculum architecture with each business or function presented as a domain. Each domain represents a professional practice area with the related professional body of knowledge (subject matter area) and skills (task mastery).  

  Below is a sample of these domains. The next slide shows a more detailed curriculum representation of how these domains interact in day-to-day activities within the organization.

​To appreciate the focus of each of these modules especially the interacting ones, #.#, the text in the table below offers some additional details.

Developing A Technical / Operational High School Hire Into A Post-Graduate Level Executive

Every management or executive level role has to have had at least 1 professional domain, individual contributor experience at advanced grade level – i.e. advanced level mental tasks in at least 1 professional domain

All jobs have a physical task level that allows them to be performed at an operational / technical job grade level regardless of actual job grade (e.g. grade 8-14 roles performed purely with a physical task focus) without the necessary mediation of mental tasks (included social tasks performed purely as physical tasks)- this means just because someone managed to become a CEO doesn’t mean they have the competencies and capabilities of CEO level roles

Professional entry level roles (graduate hires) are actually equivalent to technical mid to high in the first 6-9 months until they learn how utilise the professional knowledge base they already have (university course) or prove the assumption that they have the potential to rapidly acquire necessary knowledge due to their demonstrated ability from successfully completing a bachelors or a diploma, to perform mental tasks (decision making aspects) requirements of the role domain that frames the physical tasks of their role. 

​For convenience, I will revisit the earlier proposed task-theory approach to defining competency differences as used in the development example shared above. 

And finally, from an academic perspective, the idea is to be able to demonstrate that role performance at the specific role level matches the expectations of a specific academic achievement level but from a professional, practitioner, not purely theoretical, perspective. 

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