Organizational Structure and Designing it

Que.What is "organisational structure". What are steps involved in designing the organisational structure. (RBI Grade B 2009 exam)

Organisations perform their functions to achieve set goals and objectives. Functions of government department’s are defined through their various acts. The structure, management and functions of organisations will differ due to the nature and type of the organisation as well as their respective goals and objectives.

A structure ensures the application of process, management and further creates a framework of order and command through which, the activities of the organisation can be planned, organised, directed and controlled.
Organisation structure (OS) is defined as "The logical arrangement of task and the network of relationships and roles among the various positions established to carry out the activities necessary to achieve the predetermined objectives of business". 

It is the pattern of relationships among various components or parts of the organisation which prescribes the relations among various activities and positions.

Internal Organisation structure constitutes the arteries and veins through which the blood of work flows in the body of Organisation. They are required for smooth functioning of day-to-day activities of organisation and increase their profitability.

Structures are designed as per the organisation's objectives and strategy. An organisation chart illustrates the organisational structure, it shows the way the chain of command works.

OS is arrangement of jobs & groups of jobs within an organisation.

Benefits of Good Organisation Structure (Important topic another question can be framed around it)
The structure of an organisation does not only affect the productivity and efficiency but also the morale and job satisfaction of the staff. According to Drucker, the correct design of the structure determines the organisational performance. Drucker says:
“Good organisation structure does not by itself produce good performance. But a poor organisation structure makes good performance impossible, no matter how good the individual managers may be. To improve organisation structure will therefore always improve performance”.
According to Child, the allocation of responsibilities, the grouping of functions, decision-making, coordination, control and reward, are all fundamental requirements for the continued operation of an organisation and the structure will affect how well these requirements are met.

The objectives of structures are to provide for:
The economic and efficient performance of the organisation;
The monitoring of activities;
Ensure accountability for areas of work performed;
The effective coordination of the various parts of the organisation;
Flexibility to respond to future demands and developments and to adapt to the ever changing external environment

Organisation structures can be broadly classified into the following forms:

Line Organisation Structure: Hierarchy derived from a scalar process. Organisation is quite simple in understanding and implementation. this does not offer scope for specialization. Authority flows downwards and responsibility upwards.

Line and Staff Organisation Structure: Staff personnel generally specialists in their fields advice line managers to perform their duties. Staff personnel have right to recommend, but have no authority.

Functional Organisation: Grouping of activities on the basis of functions required for the achievement of ultimate objectives.

Divisional Organisation Structure: Several fairly self-contained autonomous units were created. Each unit was headed by a manager and is directly accountable to the organisation.

Designing Organizational Structure
There is no best way to organize, the structure must take into account the current & possible future situations. Organizing doesn't imply extreme specialization which leads to work being tedious, uninteresting. For tasks to be specific doesn't mean it should be mechanical and limited. Jobs can be defined to be allow little or no personal leeway or giving widest discretion.

Organizing as a process requires several fundamentals be considered:

1) the structure must reflect objectives and plans of organisation because activities are derived from them.
2) it must reflect authority available to enterprise's management.
3) it must reflect its environment just like premises of plans. A good organisational structure can never remain static, an effective structure depends on situation.
4) grouping of activities and authority relationship must take into account people's limitations and customs. This is not to say structure should be designed around people/staff instead of goals.

Steps in designing structure
1. Establish the objectives of the organization

2. Formulating supporting objectives, policies and plans.

3. Identifying, analyzing, and classifying the activities necessary to accomplish these objectives.

4. Grouping these activities in light of the human and material resources available and the best way, under the circumstances, of using them. Groups could be based on function, area/geography or product or a matrix. Departmentalize the activities under groups. If it were not by departmentalization the limitation on no. of subordinates that can be directly managed would have restricted the size of organisations. Grouping activities and people into departments makes it possible to expand organisations infinitely, at least in theory.

5. Frame the key persons handling the top management positions. Delegating to the head of each group the authority necessary to perform the activities.

6. Define the way of communication, line of authority and control and responsibilities of designations,

7. Frame the organizational hierarchy keeping in mind whether decision-making need to be slow and centralized (Tall) or fast and decentralized (Flat)or a mix.

8. Follow up the performance and evaluate them often,

9. Make correction if necessary and update the structure.

The process can be shown by diagram as below:

Credit Information in India

Why India need more CICs & what's their problems?

Credit gives life to economic growth of a country. Credit information cos (CICs) keeps database of financial history of people/firms so that banks/FIs can make informed decision to give loans or credit.

Around 90% of our population has never borrowed from the formal financial system and hence does not have any credit history. Under the circumstances, they are quite likely to be denied credit by the lending institutions. CICs collects data from banks/FIs/ micro FIs themselves.

They came under heavy criticism in 2008 financial crises after CICs and Rating agencies failed to warn of poor asset quality and systemic risks in US. Recently spotlight shifted on CICs after they failed to warn on bank's deteriorating asset quality in India.

4 CICs in India—-Credit Information Bureau (India) Ltd (CIBIL), Experian India, Highmark and Equifax Credit Information Services Private Ltd.

CIBIL established in 2000, started business in 2004.

Why we need CICs?

1) Credit flows to  a sizeable number of individuals/small business owners who do not have a prior credit history, and who have an important role to play in growth of the country.
2) Credit is provided to SME (small and medium enterprises sector which employs large workforce) quicker and at affordable prices.
3) Banks can make informed decision to not only give credit cards, Car loan, Home loan but for commercial loans too. And ensure that these loans are safe. Good lending practices helps in having healthy assets, and minimum NPA (non preforming loans).
4) Alert bankers, supervisiors of risks building up in the system.

At the level of a regulator: provide important inputs for the banking supervisors in monitoring systemic risks. A further use at a regulatory level may be to analyze appropriate capital and provisioning strategies for banks and, in particular, to assess whether current capital and provisioning regulations match up to actual risks.

Issues with RBI.

a) Quality of Data: Data furnished by banks to CICs (credit informatio cos) is incomplete/ inaccurate, even Microfinance institutes furnish better quality data about borrowers. Quality checks by CICs now resulting in improving 'hit rate' (event of finding some financial history/ score). US has a hit rate of 85%, India's 75% not bad.

b) Alternate source of data: Sizable no. of Individuals/ Small business owners don't have a financial history, World bank studies suggested inclusion of non-financial payment data like mobile bills, electricity bills for lending decisions. Meaning if someone is paying electricity bills regularly then lenders may take a call that he'll pay his EMIs too. 

c) Customer Grievance Redressal Mechanism: Its a big issue. There have been numerous complaints about the CICs handing out incorrect reports to the consumers who have to then run from pillar to post to get these corrected.

d) to increase competition in the credit information area. FDI limit has also been increased for companies. This is to make these reports cheaper, affordable for all players.

Recent Regulatory / Supervisory Measures
Central Repository of Information on Large Credits(CRILC): Repository of large credit exposure of individuals and Cos having exposure (both fund and non-fund based) of more than Rs. 5 crore. RBI has suggested CICs to collect information of exposure of even less than 5 crore.

 This is a student's attempt to understand speech of Dr. KC Chakrabarty, DG, RBI. 

Indian Debt & Derivatives Markets - Issues

This note is based on presentation by Sh Harun R Khan, DG, RBI. I am just attempting to understand his speech. I don't claim to be an expert on finances, students are advised (I was typing adviced - read the difference here) - you are advised to add if I miss something.

Regulation of Financial Markets
Financial market participants are 'glass half full' people, and regulators as their 'glass half empty' counterparts. Market participants- see opportunity for reward, regulators see exposure to risk.

Recent financial crisis has demonstrated the need for effective regulation, inadequacy of “free market paradigm”. From ‘light touch’ to ‘comprehensive regulation & efficient supervisory framework’

Global initiatives for regulating financial markets besides fiscal and monetary measures are:

Dodd-Frank Act: the largest financial regulation overhaul in US since the 1930s, to prevent repeat of 2008 financial crisis. Sweeping new rules for banks, hedge funds and complex financial transactions called derivatives.

Volcker Rule (part of Dodd-Frank): aims to limit risky behavior within banks. Banks that take retail deposits would not be allowed to engage in proprietary trading that is not directly related to the market making and trading they do for customers. These banks would also be prohibited from owning or sponsoring hedge funds or private equity funds.

Vicker’s commission in UK - biggest reforms to the banking sector.

EMIR (European Market Infrastructure Regulation): purpose - to improve transparency and reduce the risks associated with the derivatives market.

RBI’s approach: three broad principles

1) wider menu of financial products to enable economic agents (producers, consumers) to hedge emergent risks & meet funding requirements
2) introduction of new products should follow a graduated process (think Interest rate derivatives)
3) improved robustness of the market infrastructure for trading, settlement and reporting (think NSEL crises)

-> RBI prefer stability and safety over short term market activity, two main focus – building resilience and increasing liquidity.

Building Resilience of Debt & Derivatives Markets

1) Requirements for registration and reporting: To ensure that safe & financially strong entities have access to the financial system [e.g.  Primary Dealer authorisation; criteria to enter CDS market]. CDS (Credit default swap) is an agreement where the seller of the CDS will compensate the buyer in the event of a loan default or other credit event.

2) To promote transparency [e.g. reporting requirements for G-Sec trades, OTC derivatives].

Requirements for capital and collateral
3) To ensure that strong financial firms are doing business in financial sector- like Basel 3 guidelines for banks.
4) Ensure credit risk in transactions is managed through appropriate collateral – margins for derivatives.

Orderly market rules
5) To protect the integrity of market prices for encouraging wider market participation & providing credible price information for the economic agents (think benchmarks/ gold price rigging). Prices of products needs to be rational - CDS needs to be linked to underlying exposure its taking (CDS agreement should be followed in letter & spirit)

6) FIMMDA code of conduct for Dispute Resolution Mechanism.

7) Limits on IRF positions (interest rate futures)

8) “Suitability and appropriateness requirements for derivatives”

Enhancing Liquidity in Debt & Derivatives Markets

1) Liquidity in government securities market remains low despite regular issuance across yield curve and state-of-the-art infrastructure in place.

2) Actions have been initiated/completed in nearly 70% of the recommendations of the Gandhi Committee (RBI's Working Group on Enhancing Liquidity in the Government Securities and Interest Rate Derivatives Markets).

3) Market Making
Allocate specific securities to each PD (Primary dealer) for market making in them and if required, rotate it (recommendation of Gandhi Committee). It may be operationalised by next fiscal.

4) Short selling (basically means sell first, buy later)
RBI increased the short sell limits in a sequential manner; and would take appropriate action keeping in view the needs of market participants and imperatives of financial stability.

In the presentation Sh Harun Khan pointed out recent measures and issues of RBI which I think needs more elaboration, which I'll prepare and post here. The topics are:

Interest Rate Futures
Repo in Corporate Debt
Enhancing Foreign Investment Limits in G-Sec and Corporate Bonds
maintaing credibility of Financial Benchmarks
OTC Derivatives Market Reforms

So we've a lot of work to do.

State Development loans

Everybody knows GOI raises debt but ever wondered how states raise it?

State Development Loans (SDLs) - debt issued by State Govts to fund their deficits. RBI coordinates in selling securities.

SDLs qualify as SLR security (Statutory Liquity Ratio), and LAF - Repos (Liquidity adjustment facility) meaning banks, PD (Primary dealers) can raise short-term money from RBI under Repo facility. And they are approved investment for provident, pension funds etc.

SDL's are traded electronically on NDS-OM (Negotiated Dealing System - Order matching) and in the voice market (NDS). Participants include Banks, insurance cos, provident & pension funds, MFs.

Each state has limits to issue security each year. SDLs carry higher coupon rates than GOI-Sec, though trading is very low.

All states, good or bad financially managed both, are able to raise capital without much difference in coupon rates, which is an anomaly of course. RBI is stressing the need for fair pricing and valuation of SDLs. Its a matter of debate whether to equate pricing of SDL as corporate bonds.

Read this article for more.


When certain goals have to be achieved, and individuals have to come together to share work and act with an understanding over a period of time - we say an organisation is formed. Family is also a type of simple organisation.

In our families certain roles are defined e.g mothers make food (or go to offices), fathers go to offices, children are expected to study and achieve good grades etc. A lot of planning goes into this simple organisation like how much money needs to saved, in which school children will study and in future what are they going to be doctor, engineer etc. However roles and relationships become more complex in bigger organisations, corporations.


The term organisation can be defined in different ways emphasizing different aspects:

1) Organisation is the form of human association for the attainment of common purpose e.g family, youth welfare association etc. where stress is on cooperative endeavor of human beings.

2) Organisation is the arrangement of personnel for facilitating the accomplishment of some concrete purpose through the allocation of functions and responsibilities. For e.g Public transport system, running of vehicle overseen by crew, maintenance staff upkeep vehicles, then auxiliary staff for support services.

3) Organisation is the pattern of relationship between persons in an enterprise so arranged as to fulfill the enterprise's function. Relationships here mean superior-subordinate relations which ensure hierarchy.

4) For most practicing managers 'organisation is formalized intentional structure of roles', although it sometimes denotes enterprise (the company) too. "Intentional structure of roles" means people coming together must fulfill certain roles.

The people who come together to work should know the roles they should play. Designing & maintaining these systems of roles is basically the managerial function of organizing.

For eg. in banks cashier has a role to accept or give cash & loan officer has a role to give credit/Loan. This is not their internal setting for the day (what we call 'jugaad' in hindi), it's formally designed that way, a lot of planning goes into it. Individuals are given a role for a period of time and if they do well (or they've an aptitude for the job) they are continued otherwise they are relocated.

The roles people fulfill should be so intentionally designed that required activities are done & that activities fit together so that people can work smoothly, effectively & efficiently in groups.

To have meaningful roles it should have:
a) Verifiable objectives i.e. at the end of period it should be possible to determine whether or not the objective has been achieved.

b) a clear idea of major duties/activities involved

c) understood area of discretion or authority. For more effective roles necessary information & tools should be supplied.

Organisation can be viewed in 2 ways: a) as a process and b) as a structure or framework of relationships.

a) Organisation as a process is a function of every manager. As planning premises changes, so does organisation. Whenever there is a change in circumstances - organisations, people, activities, duties have to evolve. Staffing i.e. recruitment of right kind of people also have to be updated with the changing circumstances. This concept is dynamic view of organisation and it's main focus is on people. A good e.g. I can think of is earlier I never heard of computer proficiency in general recruitments but nowadays nearly all organisations want new people to be computer literate.

Organisation as Structure or Framework of relationships
b) Organisation can also be viewed as internal network of authority & responsibility relationships. It is the working arrangement between people to fulfill enterprise's function.

In any organisation the top management is responsible for policy formulation, middle management for programming, planning and 'rank & file' for implementation. The superior-subordinate relationship ensures the tasks are assigned, responsibilities are fixed, people are held accountable and thus smooth achievement of goals. If it wouldn't for this hierarchy structure enterprises would not have existed. For e.g Army, there is defined hierarchy, roles, responsibility, powers attached to each rank. Our Army is one of the best functioning organisation.

The compilation of organisation structure has to be properly planned & structured. It has to be designed to channel flow of authority & responsibility. The structure once prepared is not liable to change soon. It's a static concept of organisation as against dynamic view of process.

Crimea crises

Invasion of Crimea by Russia - a small peninsula on top of Black sea is in news. Here's what I've collected from around the internet that could be beneficial for students.

Red Peninsula marked 2 is Crimea.

Crimea in southern Ukraine is at the center of what is being seen as the biggest crisis between Russia and the West since the Cold War. Crimea has been fought over - and changed hands - many times in its history. It has both cultural and strategic importance for Russia.

The Crimean War (1853 – 1856): Russia lost to an alliance of France, Britain, the Ottoman Empire over Crimea. The war was documented extensively in news (even in India).

This Crimean war saw active participation from Florence Nightingale; the founder of modern nursing. She was known as "The Lady with the Lamp",  The Nightingale Pledge taken by new nurses was named in her honor only.

Crimea today
Crimea changed many hands, saw many govts and finally transferred by Moscow (erstwhile USSR) to Ukraine in 1954. After disintegration of USSR, it remained with Ukraine only, even though majority of population are Russians. It has a unique political place in Ukraine, it is an autonomous republic within Ukraine, electing its own parliament, governed by the Constitution of Crimea (since 1998). The capital and administrative seat of the republic's government is the city of Simferopol, located in the center of the peninsula.

The current crises has it's roots in bad finances of Ukraine, and a tussle between EU and Russia. Ukraine had plans of integrating with EU and wanted a loan of $20 billion USD from EU - almost the level of its central bank's currency reserves, for it's Gas bills and debt repayments in 2014 alone. But EU was willing to give $0.85 billion only, that too after Ukraine signs a stand-by-agreement with IMF (which stopped loaning Kiev after it failed to implement necessary reforms in 2011).

But Russia was willing to offer $ 15 billion USD in loans (by buying Ukrainian bonds), and also offered heavy discounts on its gas prices, no strings attached.

Through out this Russia wanted Kiev to join its own customs union (often seen as modern embodiment of soviet union, which now includes Belarus and Kazakhstan) instead of signing the EU pact. Russia had already put in economic pressures on Ukraine, with customs delays and a ban on Ukrainian chocolates, somewhere in August 2013.

The Ukraine's economy is heavily dependent on Russia - these measures put a heavy pressure on their exports and finances. Russians justified the trade embargoes by saying that they are merely protecting its businesses from influx of cheap European goods through Ukraine.

Ukraine's Leaders Cancelled EU Agreement for Russia's Offer
Ukraine's leaders were forced to fall back on Russia's assistance after they failed to meet stringent conditions laid down by EU, IMF (like 40% raise in gas prices, big budget cuts). Ukraine's leaders didn't sign association agreement with EU at it's Nov 2013 Vilnius summit, which resulted in mass protest in what is now called as Euromaidan (literally Eurosquare), protesters were demanding closer European integration and resignation of President Viktor Yanukovych.

Russia’s sovereign wealth fund invested the first $3 billion of the bailout in Ukrainian two-year notes in December 2013. Ukraine scrapped a planned $2 billion bond sale in Feb 2014, according to a statement in Irish Stock Exchange, where the notes used in the bailout program are listed. Ukraine's currency Hryvnia is weakening like anything, a big record CAD and it's ratings being reduced to junk levels are putting tons of pressure on the country. Longer the crises goes on, the higher the risk of a full-blown balance of payments and sovereign debt crisis.

As on date Russian forces have entered Crimea and it needs to be seen what's going to happen there in future.

Allahabad Bank slogan

Allahabad Bank was founded in 1865 at Allahabad, UP. Though it's headquarters are in Kolkata (since 1923).

It was nationalized in 1969. Allahabad Bank is the oldest joint stock bank in India.

Symbol means Triveni Sangam of Ganga,Yamuna and Saraswati at Allahabad.

Slogan/Tagline: A tradition of trust.

Headquarters: Kolkata.

Bank of Baroda symbol

Bank of Baroda was established in 1908 by Maharaja of Baroda, in present day Vadodara, Gujrat. It was nationalized in 1969.

Logo: Baroda Sun - comprises of dual ‘B’ letter forms which hold the rays of the rising sun.

Sun represents what Bank stands for. Single most powerful source of light and energy, which dispels darkness.  Vermillion colour stands for hope and energy.

The Baroda Sun is a universal symbol of dynamism and optimism – it is meaningful and easily decoded by all.

Slogan: India’s international Bank.

BoB has the maximum branches oversees, around 101 offices in 24 countries.

Headquarters: Vadodara, Gujrat.

Vijaya Bank symbol

Vijaya Bank was founded in Manglore, Karnataka.  The bank was merged with 9 smaller banks in 1963-68 & it was subsequently nationalized in 1980.

As it was established on Vijayadashmi Day, hence it was named Vijaya Bank.

Symbol of a polite man in their logo implies ”your partner in progress”.

Tagline:A friend you can bank upon.

Headquarters: Banglore, Karnataka.

advice vs advise

Advice (n) - On advice of my CA, I filed taxes.

Advise (v) - CA advised me to file taxes regularly.

Difference: 1st is noun, other is verb. You can't use ' adviced'. That's wrong, 'advised' is correct.

These 2 are very confusing words. Often in official letters, essays they are used wrongly.

How to remember Advice is noun, other 1 verb?

A way to remember is "Vice" meaning 'immoral or wicked behavior' is always noun. or

"Vice-President" is always an individual and a noun, so you can remember it like this also. So I give my 'advice' to you that you always remember what I 'advised' you.

Watch this video for more.

Punjab and Sind Bank trivia

Punjab & Sind Bank (P&SB) founded in 1908, its main area of operation is in Punjab. It was nationalized in 1980 (along with 5 others).

Tag line is "Where service is a way of life".

I think it's main vision is to emerge as techno savvy bank, so it's tag line hints at this intention.

It's motto is “Sarva Jana Hitai Sarva Jana Sukhai” which roughly means "For good of all and happiness of all".

Headquaters: New Delhi

Setluj Gramin Bank, a Regional rural bank, is sponsored by P&SB only.

Image courtesy: P&S bank

Oriental bank of Commerce

OBC was established in 1943 at Lahore. After partition it was shifted to India only.

Tagline: Where every individual is committed.

Individual here stands for their employees.

In 2004, Global Trust Bank Limited (GTB), a private sector bank, was amalgamated into OBC.

Headquarter: Gurgaon, in Haryana.

Logo seems preety simple for this bank. Just O, B and C. If there is any meaning I couldn't find it anywhere.

Corporation bank

Started as a 'nidhi' in 1906 at Udipi, Karnataka. In that era nearest modern bank branch was at Manglore. It's agent used to visit Udipi after a fortnight. So it's founder started the bank in Udipi itself to cater to needs of local people. It was nationalised in 1980 (alongwith 5 others).

The Bank's motto - 'Sarve Janah Sukhino Bhavanthu' meaning 'Prosperity for All'.

Tagline: 'Prosperity for All'.

The Bank's logo has various components:

Kamadhenu (denoting wish-fulfillment), Kalpatharu (eternity), Balance (justice for all), Wheel (industrial progress) and Wheat Grains (agricultural prosperity) which stand for universal prosperity and as a wish-fulfilling credo.

Headquarters: Manglore, Karnataka.

Image courtesy: Corpbank

Andhra Bank

Andhra Bank-  a Public sector bank, nationalized in 1980 (alongwith 5 others).

Andhra bank: Tagline/ Punchline.

It's like a way of saying: 'Enter' andhra bank 'for all your needs'.

Great foundation

It's often asked in interviews so remember - a great freedom fighter laid it's foundation.

The bank was founded by Dr. Bhogaraju Pattabhi Sitaramayya in 1923 in Machilipatnam, Andhra Pradesh. He was renowned freedom fighter and political leader.

He even ran for the presidency of Congress against Netaji Subashchandra Bose, and he ran successfully in 1948. He was part of JVP (Jawahar, Vallabhbhai & Pattabhi) committee which rejected idea of states formation on linguistic lines.

Corporate Identity: Togetherness is the Theme

The Symbol of  Infinity denotes a Bank that is prepared to do any thing, to go to any lengths, for the customer

The Blue pointer on the top represents the philosophy of a Bank that is always looking for growth and newer directions.

The Key hole represents Safety and Security

The Chain indicates togetherness

The colours Red and Blue denote dynamism and solidity.

Headquaters: Hyderabad.

Screenshots courtsey Andhra bank