Working Across Restrictions: Advantages and Disadvantages

This newspaper examines the point of view of working across restrictions from the lens of Hunan Resource Management. The paper is put into four main parts. The Release which provides the backdrop to working across limitations as it applies in HRM today. A description section that examines the different areas of working across boundaries i. e. communal, physical, knowledge and mental. Further examination of some theoretical perspectives including the work of Heracleous. The reason that modern organisations need to work across limitations together with factor of strategy and leveraging capabilities. A section that talks about advantages and cons of working across limitations with a focus on the public sector including professional medical organisations and local regulators. The conclusions summarise the main element points.


During the last decade, the concept of working across boundaries has become a popular concept. The essential premise is that individuals and organisation need to traverse boundaries if they are to attain their goals. Essentially earlier concepts of set organisational demarcation lines no longer apply in present day business concepts. Within the organisational framework the concept of boundaries can become a reasonably intricate concern. There still remains a dynamic debate as to whether the explanations of limitations are practical, objective or dreamed. The concept is now more complex by using outsourcing and Open public/Private partnerships in conditions of lines of demarcation and specialist. (Bishop, 2003)

The concept of boundaries within organisations takes on different shapes and forms. A lot of this has to do with interpersonal and knowledge boundaries. The explosion in scientific and communication innovations has simplified the idea of working across restrictions. Despite the fact that organizations still are challenged to collaborate and show information, nevertheless individuals seem to be a lot more liberated in this respect with growth in social media. Russ Linden is one publisher who has looked into this, with particular focus on Consumer sector organisations. (Linden, 2003).

The outdated idea of organizational design was the creation of silos or departments where functions, assignments and obligations would be clearly described within the context of your hierarchical matrix. For instance Sales, Finance, Creation would each be self-contained products within the company and clearly defined lines of demarcation within the business enterprise. The Heads of the Departments would be Senior Managers and likely to collaborate with one another but not trespass into the other domains. The holistic business strategy relied upon each product to fulfil its role within the overall strategic plan. As organisations involved in size and complexity this model posed serious shortcomings and new thought techniques were required. This required better leadership thinking plus more collaboration across boundaries. (Stevens, 2006).

Working across boundaries remains an important part of People Sector relationships and impose significant obstacles to business operations however they create distinctive value packages and increased goals in the business interactions (Sullivan, 2007)

Concepts of working across boundaries

In management terms boundaries tend to be labeled as lines of demarcation that often impose constraints. Those items that determine managerial success. For instance: how a business works within the confines of a specific environment; the concept of specific leadership styles and the effect on organizational behaviour. It was Heracleous who pointed out in 2004 that both organisations and the environments they function in are inter-related. They create structures and social requests that assist in this is of the business and its purpose. (Heracleous, 2008)

Understanding interpersonal boundaries

This essentially relates to the interactions that are produced between groups of individuals within an organization. Heracleous retained that limitations have continued to be central to the thinking of social researchers in the establishment of sociable boundaries between teams and people. Particular reference made to that of trades costs and how modern tools like sophisticated marketing communications and the internet experienced a deep impact here. It has directed if the boundaries have either reduced or enlarged and the effect on production costs has inspired important decisions like that of outsourcing or internalisation of specific tasks. (Heracleous, 2004). Understanding public change can be researched by the adoption of Lewin's Forecefield Examination. You'll find so many models that you can adopt to examine the impact of Change to the business. One common method methodology is that of Lewin's Forecefield Analysis. Fig 1 provides an example of the model.

Figure Drive field Examination exampleThis enables one to examine both the traveling and restraining makes that emerge therefore of the suggested changes. The model is specially good for determining forces that are believed to be 'polarized' i. e. a change in a single condition creates an equal and opposite effect in the other. The model was designed by Lewin to aid the Process Analyst to guide people through the unfreeze, move and refreeze periods of business process examination. Additionally it is an excellent means of demonstrating the dynamics that are in play. So by conclusion of the Pressure field Model you have attained the data in order to complete Lewin's Three Step Model. Inside the Unfreeze you take a look at the position quo and the ones driving forces for change. You could reduce the resisting makes against change. The move element involves taking activities and moving people. The freeze means make the changes everlasting and set up new means of doing things. Introduce concept of 'rewards' for obtaining the desired final results.

Understanding knowledge boundaries

The writing of knowledge has both an internal and exterior boundary. For instance in the inner model it is desirous for information to be distributed between the Sales and Marketing departments. This empowers both division to do an improved job. Externally, there is the sharing and collaboration of knowledge and information between allies. For example a UK founded company and its own overseas subsidiary.

In order for a business to be successful it must take care of its' four pillars of knowledge. These being Management, Business, Technology and Learning. Information Technology (Pillar 3) has achieved an amazing impact in the advertising and dissemination of knowledge in the business environment. However Technology has already established a greater affect on guiding the tactical planning of organizations, as opposed to the other way around. One example being that of Organization Planning Systems like SAP and J. D. Edwards One World system. Organizations have re-engineered their knowledge basic and business processes in order to meet the integrated requirements of the software request. (Bixler, 2002)

Knowledge Professionals need to understand that despite the many advantages Information Technology (IT) has to offer the workplace it isn't a special utopian panacea. Similarly any Information Technology software that undervalues Knowledge Management will equally fail available place. (Mohammed). If Knowledge Management is to be considered effective with IT running a business it must be cared for as its similar partner. Knowledge Professionals have criticised IT to be lacking in areas like tacit knowledge. Hence there's a need to include items of behavioural factor and cognitive function. (Bixler, 2002)

There is an increasing demand and obstacle being placed upon the CIO's of business organizations and therefore Managers need to be more vocal about their objectives and use the 'four pillars' as a framework in order to help enhance the integration of knowledge in the organization.

Understanding physical boundaries

The ideas of boundaries are important since it is these that represent problems which organisations must beat. Although organisations are essentially construed as open systems and these providing a continued interface with the environment. Many academics still believe that it is management that defines the physical boundaries and exactly how you distinguish between internal and external items. (Schnieder, 1987). In reality it is difficult for management to explain these boundaries as organisations have multiple stakeholders; such only by the integration of the combined needs can you truly obtain an understanding of the organisational identity. Consequently those users of the company are of a precarious character and there are many different ways in which they might be depicted to be inside or outside of the organisational composition. (Street, 2000).

Understanding Mental boundaries

Mental restrictions essentially relate to individual conception of what's considered to be internal or external to the company. This being what is regarded as acceptable and whatever will go beyond this to the realm of external control. It is this form of cognitive schema that helps individuals to create and understand the different social boundaries within an organisation. These differentiations often create perceptions of behaviour related to "us" and "them" and the formation of symbolic limitations that permit distinctions to be drawn. (Heracleous, 2004).

The need to work across boundaries

Essentially the need to work across limitations relates to that of collaboration with other entities to be able to help the development and progress of the organisation. This may range between that of proper business alliances, creation of collaboration arrangements, producing business systems and other types of collaboration and communication in order to advantage the business. Further, the concept of business transformation and organisational change can promote the need to work across limitations. Hence whatever the barriers created, being real or imaginary, our company is almost compelled to work across them.

Advantages and Disadvantages of working across boundaries

Advantages of working across boundaries

There are numerous benefits to working across boundaries, particularly within the Public Sector environment. Briefly, these may be enumerated as follows
  • Increase in working collaboration
  • Integration of partnerships with the Private Sector
  • Reduction of costs and process improvements
  • Expanding sites and building knowledge
  • Response to complicated public policies
  • Leveraging strategy and operational capabilities
  • Aligning organisations and cultures
  • Improvement of command functions - balancing risk and incentive (Blackman, 2010).

Increase in working collaboration

Historically the idea of collaborative working was seldom recognized as having any tactical importance. Silos were created in both General public and Private sector organisations and many of these departments functioned self-autonomously. In modern day context this has all changed which is accepted that collaborative working both inter and intra the business has significant benefits. Specifically the organisation is better equipped for
  • Dealing with business transformation and change
  • Ability to provide better service levels and customer support
  • Optimization of resources and cost reduction strategies
  • Ability to innovate and create by advanced knowledge acquisition
  • Easier to move to new change requirements
  • Increased flexibility and ability to share successes and failures

The idea of collaboration is an enabling function which allows one to bring people together with different views and views. This idea of variety enriches your choice making process and enhance the dynamics in business working relationships. It has been successfully presented in medical Sector in Wales. Here different local regulators were required to formulate med-long term tactical plans. Direct cooperation between the authorities enabled the posting of knowledge and ideas which facilitated rationalization and a more improved overarching all natural final result. (Sullivan, 2007).

Another example of collaboration is the ability to bring key stakeholders mutually in a collaborative environment. This has been effective in both local and central government projects. Having the stakeholders along creates better synergy and improved upon policy execution with the organisational environment. Collaboration has expanded into areas of joint coverage making, as opposed to just writing information. Geoff Delamare from Surrey State Council states there are some distinct learning things from collaborative working i. e. Creating the amount of trust between partners, ensuring transparency in marketing communications and showing knowledge; admitting mistakes, building a collaborative environment rather than imposing a ruling regime. (McCann, 2012).

Integration of partnerships with the private sector

Partnership solutions have increased in level of popularity over the last decade. In the general public sector they have obtained wide politics support. This has been seen as a method of making process advancements whilst optimizing cost expenditures in order to provide improved value for money. THE UNITED KINGDOM Audit Commission can be an exemplory case of where they have crossed boundaries to embrace working interactions with counterparts in the European Union (European union). It has been effective in collaboration to help improve inter-governmental policy execution. (McQuaid, 2000).

Reduction of costs and process improvements

In these difficult financial times both Central Federal public sector systems and local authorities have been confronted with managing tight budgetary programs and reducing costs. The last mentioned meaning resource and cost search engine optimization in order showing the best profits on investment for monies expended. It has centered attention on streamlining techniques in order to create increased efficiencies and eliminate redundancies. Furthermore, ideas of outsourcing to lessen source costs and capital expenditure. Local Authorities in the UK have been very effective in this area. Barnet Council is employing an outsourcing plan in order to save 120m. Others like Cornwall Council have been evaluating tactical partnerships to outsource both forward and returning office functions. IT departments stay particularly vulnerable because they're capital intense and expensive to both operate and maintain. (Terry, 2013).

Expanding systems and building knowledge

In order for a business to be successful it must take care of its' four pillars of knowledge. These being Control, Firm, Technology and Learning. Information Technology (Pillar 3) has achieved an amazing impact in the advertising and dissemination of knowledge in the business environment. However Technology has had a greater impact on guiding the strategic planning of organizations, instead of the other way around. One example being that of Business Planning Systems like SAP and J. D. Edwards One World system. Organizations have re-engineered their knowledge base and business processes in order to meet the integrated demands of the software application.

Knowledge Managers need to comprehend that regardless of the many advantages IT (IT) provides the workplace it isn't a powerful utopian panacea. Similarly any Information Technology program that undervalues Knowledge Management will evenly fail in the business place. If Knowledge Management is usually to be considered effective with IT running a business it must be cared for as its similar partner.

Disadvantages of working across boundaries

The main drawbacks of working across limitations are enumerated as follows
  • Complexity and Commonality
  • People, Culture and Leadership
  • Power and Politics
  • Performance Accountability and Budgets

Complexity and commonality

The success to working across restrictions is where sufficient empathy is present to recognise shared goals and principles to be able to predicate a desired end result. Where there's a insufficient sufficient commonality this is often a serious barrier towards attaining a successful outcome. The need for shared or common goals is therefore of paramount importance in virtually any collaborative venture. Aiming to force collaboration in the incorrect environmental setting will likely incur level of resistance and ultimately power of costs and source work providing little profits on return.

One particular example in the general public sector relates to the large inability of IT projects that contain often lacked sufficient commonality. In 2003 in the united kingdom a poll explained that only 1 third of all IT assignments were successful. Practically 70% of most projects being greatly challenged or failing in their entirety. (Post Article 200, 2003).

People culture and leadership

The people concern is really important when working across boundaries as it needs a organized but flexible work group that can collaborate over both hard and smooth structure. In the public sector the staff need to develop cross-boundary skills in order to aid inter firm co-operation. These however can be highly inspired by both policy and political plan. It's been argued that within the general public sector the impact of Human Resource Management (HRM) teams have created significant obstacles to cross-party working connections.

Lack of good authority skills in the general public sector provided the shortcoming for many older leaders to work across boundaries and manage complex business transformation programmes. This prevented perfect leveraging of resources between different organisations. Good leaders are essential enablers as they are important for leveraging resources, motivating people and making certain the task gets done. Therefore poor leadership takes its serious barrier in order to enable working across limitations. This leads to what has often been referred to as 'silo management style', the inability to progress beyond your own defined website.

Power and Politics

The concept of working across boundaries may have a serious impact on the reshaping of electricity and politics within an organisation. This can be particularly powerful where a location is identified to be under threat. In this particular sense both politics and electricity are intertwined and political endorsements have the ability to create tremendous barriers. Ministers set the signals for civil servants to work across boundaries but this is towards attainment of specific political agendas. These can be very fickle and subject to change, hence the civil service should be articulate in how this is both managed and interpreted.

Performance in accountability and budgets

Improved performance focuses on have been very popular lately. This has supposed working across restrictions to optimise business operations and resource effort. Failure in the reconfiguration of performance systems can create significant obstacles and a great deal of disruption in provision of remedial action. Budget attainment has evenly been criticised in conditions of holding Managers responsible for reaching budget figures, even though cross border human relationships have provided them with only limited control and impact over the finances. (Parton, 1998).


The idea of working across limitations is not a new principle but one that has been around for many years. Technology has created more 'enablers' in terms of earning this more operationally efficient and the ability to promote information and knowledge. The reality of globalisation, battling financial markets, the necessity for cost cutting and austerity procedures have increased the need to get more detailed collaborative working. The use of sharing information in a collaborative environment often results better effects and a better managed risk stock portfolio.

Leadership skills have become of paramount importance and in particular the skills required to motivate and influence others in a collaborative teamwork environment. Local regulators have been specifically successful in dealing with private sector human relationships in order to improve service provision, increased efficiencies and execution of cost decrease programmes.

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