Create a flexible corporate structure to develop high performance leadership in global enterprises

This article paints a more detailed picture of the effects of flexible structures on knowledge management. This article also indicates that leaders can implement structural changes to better run their businesses. This article summarizes my experience as a senior management consultant and aims to get the insights needed to succeed in the right hands of executives around the world.

How can flexible structures improve leadership effectiveness?

A flexible structure is needed to run a global organization. This type of business structure is at the forefront of the knowledge base and has relative value in organizations across North America and the rest of developed countries. When leaders create flexible corporate structures that inspire innovation and creativity within organizations, they secure a place in an ever-changing hypercompetitive marketplace.

Corporate structure has been defined as a model by which organizations can divide their activities and tasks as well as control them to achieve higher degrees of coordination. Corporate structure, therefore, refers to the bureaucratic division of labor accompanied by control and coordination between different tasks in order to develop communication within organizations.

Company structure can be reshaped by leaders when they develop knowledge sharing and inspire employees to create new ideas for a better environment between business units and departments. Sirkka Jarvenpaa and Sandy Staples, leading authors and management scholars at the University of Texas at Austin, argue that informal structure could facilitate the generation of new ideas to create a more innovative climate within organizations. Executives can therefore implement structural changes that develop better collaboration between subordinates and managers.

Centralized versus decentralized decision-making is also a topic that senior executives have to deal with. The emphasis on formalized and mechanistic structures can negatively impact the ability of the executive to exert such changes. On the contrary, a more decentralized and flexible structure can improve departmental and managerial interactions. The mechanics or centralization at the top level of leadership hinders the possibility of developing relationships between managers, business units and departments.

Leaders can reshape the corporate structure to be more efficient when the organizations command center can disseminate information in a decentralized and organic way as opposed to the mechanical and centralized command center. Decentralized structures transfer decision-making power to lower levels and subsequently motivate members of the organization to create new ideas and even implement them, while centralized structures can have a negative impact on communications interdepartmental and inhibit the exchange of knowledge.

An empirical study by Wei Zheng, Baiyin Yang, and Gary McLean of Texas A&M University asserts that there is a negative impact of centralization on various knowledge management processes such as knowledge acquisition, creation, and sharing among managers and departmental units. On the contrary, a more decentralized and flexible structure can allow executives to improve departmental and managerial interactions, which can lead to identifying the best investment opportunities that can improve knowledge use processes for companies. Academics and executives have recognized some form of relationship between corporate structure and the process of knowledge utilization. Therefore, managers can contribute positively to knowledge management by creating more decentralized structures within organizations.

The key takeaway for executives is to facilitate knowledge management by developing a more flexible structure which is seen as an essential source for developing relationships. Therefore, if the structure of the company is not completely conducive to supporting knowledge management, leaders cannot effectively manage organizational knowledge to improve overall performance, and companies cannot be effective. Therefore, the key core for leaders is that corporate structure is a resource that enables organizations to solve problems and create value through improved performance and it is this point that will reduce success gaps. and failure leading to more successful decision making.

How can knowledge management improve leadership effectiveness?

The knowledge exchange process enhances a leader’s abilities to act as an inspirational motivator in their business, as it allows them to set desired expectations by recognizing possible opportunities in the business environment. Knowledge exchange also contributes positively to managers developing a more effective view for their employees, with access to a full range of information and ideas about external environments. By creating a vision of what is achievable, leaders can then integrate knowledge internally to improve the efficiency of their business systems and processes that align with that vision, as well as be more responsive to current market changes.

To be effective, knowledge integration also requires an ongoing process of monitoring and evaluating your internal knowledge management practices, coordinating experts, sharing knowledge, and analyzing changes in knowledge requirements to maintain quality of work and produce in line with market demand. By undertaking knowledge integration activities that integrate all levels of the business, leaders can assess the necessary changes that will maintain the quality of their services at peak efficiency. Instilling this systematic approach to coordinating experts across the enterprise also allows leaders to propel the role of intellectual stimulation, which creates a more innovative environment within companies.

Leaders are also responsible for the reduction of knowledge within companies, as they must be reconfigured to respond to environmental changes and new challenges. Essentially, what worked yesterday or a few years ago has already changed rapidly and will continue to do so as technology develops prolifically.

Knowledge is usually shared globally among companies through national and global awards such as the Malcolm Baldridge Prize in the United States and the Deming Prize in Japan. However, previous industry research posits that companies may lack the capabilities required to access and develop this knowledge or may decide to decline to interact with other organizations due to distrust in sharing or developing it. gain knowledge. Therefore, expert groups may not be diverse enough to understand knowledge gained from external sources.

However, despite these limitations, whether natural or induced, networking with business partners is a key activity for companies to enhance knowledge exchange and should not take a price to be the impetus to initiate an interaction. Therefore, networking with external business partners will improve leadership effectiveness, enabling executives to better develop strategic ideas for a more effective vision that incorporates the diverse concerns and values ​​of external business partners.

Ultimately, the transfer of knowledge between organizations improves learning effectiveness, allowing executives to empower human resources by creating new knowledge and solutions. Thus, I suggest that networking takes place between organizations in national and international markets to enhance the effective use of management. As senior managers use knowledge management effectively, it is likely to improve their leadership effectiveness through increased learning opportunities. Figure 1 illustrates how flexible structures lead to improved knowledge management and leadership.

In conclusion

This article can paint a more detailed picture of the effects of a flexible structure on knowledge management performance. When leaders ensure the effectiveness of knowledge management projects, they increase control and reduce operational risk. Additionally, knowledge management forms the foundation of a supportive workplace to disseminate knowledge and subsequently improve leadership effectiveness. In fact, a company’s ability to develop leadership can be greatly affected when leaders implement knowledge management projects as their primary form of managing people, resources, and profitability.

Leaders can now see how they can implement structural change, which can enable superior knowledge management performance to achieve business goals and satisfy careers. Additionally, this article is set up to inspire leaders to create effective structural change to meet and overcome the challenges not only of today, but also of what we see as the beginning of new advances in the world. future. The practices mentioned in this article may also represent a complete response to the need for structural changes in the current global market environment.

I suggest that scholars take these ideas and continue to conduct research using executives as a focal point so that academic research can meet the needs for managerial involvements at the upper echelons of companies worldwide.


Mostafa Sayyadi works with senior business leaders to effectively drive business innovation and helps companies – from start-ups to the Fortune 100 – succeed by improving the effectiveness of their leaders. He is an author of business books and a longtime contributor to business publications and his work has been featured in leading business publications.