Achieving Integration


This chapter focuses on the contribution that organization can make to the achievement of integration. Integration is a condition of cohesion and synergy between the different, but complementary, activities that collectively create value. It is a vital product of good organization, though often under-emphasized.

The first section looks at the need for integration, which has become harder to achieve as organizations become more complex and differentiated. Various areas in which integration problems can arise are then identified. The chapter goes on to illustrate how poor integration can lead to disaster while good integration can create a valuable dynamic capability. A further section points out warning signs that integration needs are not being met, and a helpful diagnostic tool is presented. There is a choice of organizational mechanisms intended to promote integration, each suited to different levels and types of integration need. The closing section discusses teamwork as an important and frequently used way of improving integration.

images The Concept

Integration signifies cohesion and synergy between different roles or units in an organization whose activities are different but interdependent in the process of creating value. Its meaning comes very close to that of coordination. I shall use coordination to refer to the process ...

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