Organizational chart vertical and horizontal linkages

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Learning Activity 1:

Diagram via an organizational chart Vertical and Horizontal Linkages in your current or previous organization! Discuss and explain any pros and cons, respectively, for each linkage. Provide a practical example of an Informal Linkage and its implications? Provide a practical example.

 Learning Activity 2:

Using your previous or current organization, generate and discuss at least two (2) alternative strategies affected by cultural factors that may promote competitiveness and improve its major weaknesses.

(Classmate ONE LA2) The organization that I work for employees a lot of young adults right out of college. This allows for the company to not only pay their employees less than industry standard, but it also allows for the company to promote from within and allows for growth potential. A lot of people at my company have either been with the company for an extended period of time, rising through the "ranks" and become senior account managers and or directors. While others, because of the extensive training that we receive are offered other opportunities in the industry with other companies. Whichever path you choose, my organization's culture makes it a point that they will support their teams and will help grow professionally within the organization and outside of the organization. This allows for the people that do end up leaving the company to bring the business back to my organization. It is technically a win-win strategy. 

However, because of the organizational culture of growth opportunity, it does create a lot of competitiveness within the organization but not in a negative way. It is emphasized that they will give us the necessary tools and training to rise to the top of the organization, and because of this lower level teams work harder in order to get promoted. Again, another strategy used that is only benefits the organization.

(CLASSMATE TWO LA2)  The Marine Corps can utilize a growth strategy. According to Rose, organizational culture is the shared beliefs, values, and the norms of a respective organization (n.d.). The Marine Corps is a war fighting organization built off high standards, pride, and years of history. One weakness that can be approved by the cultural beliefs is the not contracting jobs to contractors. Many Marines are exiting the Marine Corps because contractors are replacing jobs. Many Marines believe they are more than capable of operating in the positions the contractors are taking. This will also promote competitiveness with other branches in regards to recruiting, as other branches offer these positions, MOS (jobs) to its members and not civilians. 

Another strategy is offering jobs to Marines other branches offer. Many Marines feel that because the Marine Corps focuses on training for wars, the MOS (jobs) revolve around supporting the infantry units. Therefore, many jobs do not prepare the Marines for exiting the Marine Corps. Other branches offer jobs that relate more to the civilian world. Upon exiting the other branches, the service members are more prepare to enter the civilian sector. Adding these jobs for the Marine Corps will attract a bigger populas.


Rose, A. (n.d.). The Impact of Organizational Culture on Strategy Implementation. AZ Central. Retrieved from


Being on Instructor and Inspector duty (I&I, special duty), our organizational structure is a little unorthodox as compared to a regular unit in the Marine Corps. The flow is very easy, we have a Commanding Officer (CO) who is in charge overall, the vertical linkage is straight to the E8 level. At the E8 level, there is my position, which is the Operations Chief. I conduct all the planning, coordinating, and supervising of all operations. There is also a 1stSgt (First Sergeant), and he is in charge of all admin related items, promotions, community relation projects, color guard ceremonies, etc. We are both considered senior enlisted. As depicted in the chart, there is horizontal linkage between both E8s. Then there are the Section Chiefs (Functional Level Managers), they are all E5s or what we call them, Sergeants. Because the E5s report directly to me, there is a vertical linkage between their billets and mine. The 1stSgt controls the admin related items to include admin items that relate to Operations Chief and CO as well. Therefore, a vertical linkage is between the E5s and the 1stSgt and the 1stSgt to the CO. 

Pro and Cons

 One of the pros to this organizational structure is there are only 14 Marines at this duty station. It is easy to control 14 Marines as oppose to controlling 50 in combat (huge difference). Another pro is all other layers of management are missing (this is a con as well). Holding the Marines accountable is another pro. E8s hear and see everything that is going on. Another pro to this is the E8s get to operate more with the Marines (this is also a con).

An obvious con to this structure is it is missing middle management. There are E6s (Staff Sergeants) and E7s (Gunnery Sergeants) that are usual between the E5 level and the E8 level. Additionally, a lot of questions and problems can be solved at the E6 and E7 level. When a Marine has an issue it goes straight to the E8 level and it depending on the situation or severity it takes the E8s away from the unit and all operations tend to slow. Another con with this is a huge gap between E5 and E8, there is a lot an E6 or E7 can teach the E5s. Furthermore, the E6s use this time to refine his or her leadership traits and abilities. Another con to this structure is the E8s understand there is no middle management and accepts that the E5s need to bring up operational and personal matters straight to them.

Informal Linkage

According to Mastering Strategic Management informal linkage is considered personal relationships, politics, and rivalries (2014). At the E5 level there are personal relationships however, an implication to this is it breaks down support between the E5s. Due to the size of the unit, if the Marines are not functioning smoothly due to a miscommunication off duty, it can bog the entire unit down as we depend on one another. Another implication is the professionalism tends to lack due the E5s not being able to turn the professional light switch back on when they enter the work environment. As far as politics there are few at play in my unit. For example, if the senior enlisted and the CO needs to make a difficult decision we tend to analyze the situation from a Marine Corps perspective, the command perspective, and then from the Marine's perspective. If it affects the Marine Corps, the Marine is more than likely going to get NJPd (Non Judicial Punishment or Courts Martial) meaning going to court in civilian terms. If it affects the unit we can deal with it in house. Lastly, if the Marine is the only one going to get affected by the situation we tend to help them as much as possible so it does not grow out of control.


Unknown (2014). Mastering Strategic Management. Washington, D.C.: The Saylor Foundation

Reference no: EM131522991


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