Since Fall 2010, I have been the Vice President of Ascend Temple Student Chapter, an Accounting Student Professional Organization (SPO) in the Fox School of Business. According to the definition in The Starfish and the Spider, the organization can be defined as a hybrid organization where there are centralized part and decentralized part.
Let’s talk about the decentralized part first. Since the organization is a student organization and the officers who run the organization are also students, there is no one that is extremely more knowledgeable than the others. Thus, we as the officers always listen to each others as well as other members to make such decisions as: which companies we want to invite to the organization to speak, which community services we will participate in, which dates and how often we should have our bakes sales, etc. Although the organization has a hyrachy structure in which the President has the ultimate power, everyone else in the organization does have a say in every decision making and can also suggest an idea to be evaluated by everyone else.For example, one of our member is the representative for the Philadelphia CPA review and wanted the organization to come and sit in one of the Philadelphia CPA reviews class. The idea was approved by the officers and the event was announced to other members afterward. In addition, information flows freely withinthe organization, from the top down and from the bottom up. The officers announce any upcoming events in weekly email and during weekly meeting. The members can stop by the office anytime they want to find out more information about any specific events. Furthermore, the organization encourages everyone to take on the role of the leaders if they are willing to. The officers are encouraged to seeks for opportunities that can benefits the organization even though that opportunity is not related to the duty or responsibility of that officer. Also, members can approach the officers to ask to take in more responsibilities to improve their leadership skills. In addition, the organization schedules an evaluations about performance of the organizations as well as the officers regularly. Through these feedback, the officers knows how they are doing and which aspect they need to improve on.
However, regarding communication to outsiders, the organziation is a centralized organizations. Every invitation for speakers as well as event has to go through either the President, the Vice President or the Treasurer. Thus, the three have the most contacts, fully control what is going on within the organization as well as know the programs and procedures needed to set up events. Consequently, the three person holding these key positions are not available, the operation of the organization is jeoperdized.