Organizational Chart

 

 

 

 

Introduction

The organizational structure defines the mechanism for the assignment of tasks, arrangement of workforce in different organizational positions, the reporting procedures inside the organization and pattern of interaction and coordination among different units to utilize the organizational possibilities. The organizational structure has three dimensions, including:

 

- Centralization: Focus of the decision-making authority in a single point

- Formality:  Regulations, instructions and approaches (The larger size an organization gets, the more formality it takes)

- Complexity: division of tasks inside an organization, including: horizontal (assignment of tasks among units), vertical (organizational hierarchy) and geographical distribution

 

Hereafter, expectations and assumptions of the structure of the center will be explained based on these three dimensions. Before the start of the discussion, the concept of the Islamic-Iranian Model of Progress should be defined. Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution has defined very well the concept of Islamic-Iranian Model of Progress. By a study on his remarks, the essence of model will be understood.

At the 2nd meeting of the Strategic Thoughts, the Leader said:

“When we talk about an Islamic-Iranian Model, it means a comprehensive map. We will be confused without such comprehensive map. This model is a comprehensive map. It shows us our path and direction as well as our final goal. The desirable status should be mapped and how to move from the current condition towards that status should be explained… This model will become an upstream document compared with all the other planning documents and vision plans of the countries and the other decisions made by the country. It means that future 10 or 20-year outlook plans should be formulated based on this model. Future policies and the country’s macro-scale plans should comply with this model and should be within the framework of the model.”

 

Desirable specifications in drawing structure of the center

Given the new and novel nature of the center both inside the country as well as on the international arena, designing a special structure for it will be significant. Prior to designing the structure of the center, it is necessary to identify and define specifications for an optimum and desirable structure. Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution had useful indications of the mechanism to formulate the model from which clear guidelines can be extracted. The guidelines include:

 

A. Formation of the scientific and thinking circles

B. Utilizing the country’s capacities

C. Supporting elites

D. Theorizing and hypothesizing

E. Promoting debates and discourses among elites and public (especially for creating the sense of independence)

F. Avoiding Monopolism

G. Deepening and developing the thought, researching and theorizing

H. Debate-making

I. Devising the Islamic-Iranian model of progress

 

“Tens of conferences and meeting may be needed on the issue of Islamic-Iranian Model of Progress. It may be needed to form tens of scientific circles inside different universities. Hundreds of our elites, scholars and scientists who may be interested in private and individual activity – or are not interested in social activities – may be prepared to conduct research in their own homes. These people should be employed. The thinking circles should be formed and universities and seminaries should be involved in the work to enable us to bring the assigned task to a desirable destination.”

“This task is not for a specific and limited organization. It is a task which asks for activation of the country’s entire capacity. Offering new models and model is within your skill, within the skill of our elites. Discussions and debates should be done by elites during the academic research in a bid to define and draw a progressive model for the Islamic Iran, for this geographical land with such a great history, nation, potentials and causes… I want to say that one of the biggest tasks in our country’s academic apparatus, our elite society – both in universities and seminaries – should be defining a comprehensive map for the country’s progress based on the principles of Islam.” Leader’s remarks, addressing a meeting with students from Mashhad’s Ferdowsi University on 25/2/1386 (May 15, 2007)

“We do not expect the center (for the Islamic-Iranian Model of Progress) to do so (support elites), rather we expect the center to supervise this great movement initiated by the country’s elites, take care of them, provide them with different types of assistance and support. The movement should not be halted. As I mentioned before, it is necessary to create a central center and committee (for the mission) and it will be created, God willing. Therefore, we need you for the next days, too. It means that it (supporting elites) is not an issue of today or can be dealt with in this session. God willing, these session would be continuous. Of course, these session will also include different gatherings. That means presence of different figures and individuals.”

“You, who are in universities, your activities are academic. You should study hard, conduct researches and try to create theories. You should consider as wrong or dangerous the blind and unconditional modeling from the western theoreticians or relying on translations. We need creation of theories in the humanities. Many of events in the world even those in economic and political fields are defined within the views of knowledgeable figures in the humanities, sociology, psychology and philosophy. They are the side who define indexes.” Leader’s remarks among Shiraz University students and professors, 14/2/87 (May 4, 2008).  

“The great works begin from theorizing. This theorizing is not something which is done behind closed doors of in vacuum.” Leader’s remarks among students from Mashhad’s Ferdowsi University on 25/2/1386 (May 15, 2007)

“The second objective that we have sought in this session was to create a kind of culture or debate firstly among elites and then among public. The remarks that you have raised tonight (at the session) will guide elites’ mind and then public opinion towards an essential direction if it spreads throughout the society. Thinking about a model of progress and a model to move forward and the sense that we should be independent in this issue would unveil faults of dependence and reliance on alien models. That is what we need today. Unfortunately our elite society has not yet reached a correct and right conclusion in this regard. That should happen and will happen with the help of God.”

“It should be a place that avoid monopolizing this move.”

A look at the statue of the center shows that the center is tasked with three major tasks, including:

 

The full details of the three tasks are as follows:

 

A- Deepening and developing the thought, researching and theorizing.

- Identifying the question

- The division of tasks nationally and in the needed research fields

- The establishment of thinking centers and circles

- Hosting scientific meetings

- Establishing contacts and exchange of views at the international level

- The assessment of scientific products and awarding them

 

B- Debate-making

- Using the capacity of state media

- Facilitating the presence of youths in the field of thinking

- Deepening youths’ knowledge

- Introducing the subjects of progress in society and the scientific centers

 

C- Formulating and devising the Islamic-Iranian model of progress

- Collecting special views from scholars

- Finding and gathering the relevant researches

- Utilizing the result of the relevant researches

- Creating a comprehensive network for model

- Drafting the model

- Assessing the status quo

- Predicting future of the country’s progress

Accordingly, the identification of questions and assessing the research requirements are among the top activities which should be done in the center in a bid to mobilize the possibilities of country’s scientific centers to answer the identified problems. The most important steps which should be taken by the center in a bid to formulate the Islamic-Iranian model of progress include gathering information, establishing contacts, encouraging elites and scientists for producing theories and hypothesis.

One of the essential questions about the activities of the center is that how can we employ the country’s resources and capacities in line with formulating the model of progress? Answering this question will clarify the governing mechanism in drawing the structure of the center. The center should be able to employ the existing capacities of the country’s scientific centers linearly. It should be mentioned that playing the leading role in the task of creating thought, insight and motivation in national level in the field of Islamic-Iranian model of progress is one of the missions of the center and that the center is not after dominating the research affairs in the country.

In a bid to reach new ideas in drawing the structure of the center, diverse solutions, for example, drawing a structure without deputy department, establishing committees similar to the educational committees in universities or following the existing structures in universities, research centers, scientific associations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the Islamic Consultative Assembly (the parliament) and High Council of Cultural Revolution can be taken into consideration. Scientific circles or think tanks will be set up in the center based on the diversity of the scientific subjects needed for devising the model. One of the requirements for the activities of the local scientific teams and their independent action is the existence of an atmosphere free from the routine bureaucracy and hierarchy.

Like the processing systems in computers, this systems needs the planning for processing two streams, the first is the stream of data and the other one is the guidelines for data analysis. Normally, the guidelines and conditions will be communicated to the subsidiary bodies by the president of the center but the center needs deputies or offices to support or manage flows of data and information. The initial proposal calls for providing the necessary information for scientific think tanks and circles involved in the formulation of the model. Therefore, we should wait and see how the process will be drawn or the stream will be coordinated.

The basic orientation in production of thought and the approval of ideas will be done by the scientific think tanks and circles. Other sections of the center will handle the task of supporting or paving the ground and, finally, processing and enriching these ideas. In other word, the scientific circles are expected to be the innovative brains of the other centers or act as their analyzers and support brain. Using network or linear structure for transferring data among the internal sections of the center or external bodies can provide effective help in increasing efficiency of the activities. A study should be done on the scientific content of the conferences, meetings, journals, scientific sources and the center should embark on holding these kind of decision-making meetings and circles in a bid to conclude various views.

Each organization has its own boundaries through which it distinguishes its members from non-members. Such boundaries are determined and defined through inking contract between the organization and its members. The degree of flexibility in these boundaries and the distinctive lines between the organization and the other bodies is among the principles in designing the structure of the center. This center should be able to receive scientific views from every scientists about approach or content of defining the model. As an example, the center should be able to implement and lead wide range of process such as Delphi process in national level, the approaches which are trying to cover a wide range of experts through the organized processes and at the same time reach consensus among experts and overcome factional thoughts and tendencies. The existing knowledge among the country’s scientists and elites should be gathered and processed. Designing virtual networks is one of the alternative choices to that end. What would be the outcome of using this method in the structure of the center? What organizational framework can handle the management of the formulation of the model by employing virtual tools? How would be the feedback system for collecting opinions?

After an in-depth look and a study on theoretical principles of the management science and paying special attention to guidelines provided by the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution and after collecting various opinions and expectations of the president of the center of performance and output of the future structure of the center, the following specifications have been defined. Any proposal on the center’s organization should be based on these specifications and should be able to meet missions and goals of the center in an effective way.

Definitely, the current structure cannot meet these essential requirements and innovative and new proposals are needed in this regards. Given the large scope of the center’s mission, a mixture of structures are needed for it. In general, the following specifications demonstrate the expectations of the structure of center and the ruling principles of it. Through these specifications we can estimate the capacity of each structure in meeting missions and objectives of the center.

  

1. Mobility and flexibility

The mobility and flexibility of a center is its ability to understand changes that are happening around and its ability to show quick respond to it. In modern organizational life, ability to change and dynamism have become an important issue. The existence of an organization with lack of ability to show proper response to these evolutions and developments is under threat. As it clear in the title of the center (The Center for the Islamic-Iranian Model of Progress), it will become the leader of progress in the ruling system. Accordingly, the first specification of the structure of the center will be its mobility in reaction to the changes. The mobility of an organization needs prerequisites and arrangements the most important of which is the flexibility. Therefore, it is necessary to formulate a structure for the center which is ready to be changed in a bid to match new conditions and overcome the future problems.

 

2. Lower formality (the lowest level of instructions and formal procedures)

Formality is considered as one of the important tools in standardizing performance in mechanical and bureaucratic systems.  Mechanical structures have been drawn for achieving high performance in stable situations. The existence of a high degree of formality will result in increase in administrative bureaucracy and will effectively restrict the freedom of action and will impose a tough and mechanical culture on the organization. Research organizations and the centers in which the science is produced are among the administrative places which are not suitable for high formality due to their need for creativity. Therefore, given the nature of the center’s activities, lower formality is needed for the center.

 

3. Lower centralization and higher independence for branches

The nature of the production of science makes necessary the high degree of de-centralization and independence of the organizational units. The high centralization in a scientific body will not only undermine the spirit of creativity and scientific cooperation but also decelerate the process of activities’ progress.

 

4. Lower complexity

Any increase in an organization’s complexity will make communication and interaction between its bodies difficult since it increases the linear boundaries between an organization’s bodies and boosts vertical lines by introducing new hierarchies and geographical divisions. High complexity will not match the nature of the center’s work given the necessity for easy interaction and higher structural flexibility.

 

5. Teamwork

One of the important features of the teams is that their members are not in need of a precise definition of their tasks and this feature makes it possible replacing them with one another in doing the assigned tasks. Such high level of flexibility is proper for tasks which need high creativity. Steering the process of science production and debate-making is not among that kind of tasks which can be divided and given to other people. Defining different scientific teams is a way which defines general tasks and the details of their implementation for members of the team through talks in a timely manner. Employing these teams will definitely be one of mechanisms to promote the center’s performance.

 

6. Assigning tasks to others and avoiding domination over research affairs

The growing scope of activities in the contemporary era have made it necessary for organizations to use the existing capacities in a good way and use their domestic capabilities for very special affairs. Given the existence of several scientific and research bodies in the country, the center will try to meet its tasks through assigning the task to others who are outside the center. That would be the case since the center enjoys special place in policy-making and the task will make it difficult for the center to govern or lead the research affairs.

 

7. Flexible organizational borders and ability to establish communication networks (especially with other scientific centers)

The current virtual tools enable the center to promote its capacity to produce science in line with formulating the model through the establishment of networks of communication with the existing scientific bodies as well as scientists. To that end, it is necessary to avoid restricting the organizational boundaries within the existing members and parts. All scientific centers in the country can be regarded as a fellow member of the center. The scope of the center’s scientific borders should be stretched to the level of the country’s scientific borders.

 

8. Ability to accomplish tasks and mobilize national resources

The center needs units with the ability to firstly, define and identify the research needs in a bid to formulate the model and secondly, create a hub of the exiting capacities through dividing those needs among the existing scientific bodies inside the country.

 

9. Easy link between the center’s scientific circles and the president of the center

As mentioned before low number of hierarchy levels is needed. That should be observed specifically for scientific cells and circles. Accordingly, it is proposed that the scientific circles act under the president of the center in a bid to both increase motivation among members of the circles and provide higher supervision by the president of the center over these circles.

 

10. Avoiding partial tendency and having goal-oriented view

One of the measures needed for formulating the model is taking measures to weaken tendency toward a specific part. Any small part of the center should move in line with defining the model by having a look at the main objectives of the center and through proper cooperation with other internal parts. If needed, all units of the center should work to complete each other’s task like a member of one team.

 

11. Easy performance evaluation

Defining transparent and independent tasks for each parts of the center will facilitate the process of the evaluation of the performance of the center, especially in terms of the degree of effectiveness in advancing the task of formulating the model.

 

12. High capability to create knowledge

The proposed structure of the center should become a criteria for creativity and should enjoy high capability to create knowledge.

 

13. Decision making based on consensus

The organizational structure is considered as the model and framework of all organizational process and decision-makings. Given the nature of the center’s activities, that is science-based, the participation of more scientists in resolving problems will boost the center’s effectiveness. Therefore, personal decision-making process does not match the center’s missions and a collective decision-making process is proposed for the activities of the center.

 

14. The ability to encourage debates

One of the three key tasks of the center is promoting and encouraging debates and discourses and raising the issues related to the issue of progress throughout the society, especially among elites and scientists. That needs a network activity which is possible only in dynamic and active structure.

 

15. Feeling importance and the academic image of scientific personnel

Scientific personnel are one of the requirement of the mobility in an organization. In addition to the sense of independence, these scientific personnel need to feel that they are important person and their academic image and character must be respected in a way that each scientist in the organization should consider himself or herself as the mastermind and the source of the organization’s activity. Therefore, personnel should be organized in a way that respects the scientific stance of the center.

After holding several sessions of discussions and analysis, members of the High Council of the center have approved an organizational chart by taking into consideration the goals and missions of the center as well as those principles which govern the designing the structure of the center. The structure has defined two offices, three departments and 28 think tanks. The center’s secretariat for seminary affairs is also active under the direction of the seminary council.