Monday, August 23, 2010


IWS Documented News Service
Institute for Workplace Studies----------------- Professor Samuel B. Bacharach
School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies
Cornell University
16 East 34th Street, 4th floor----------------------
Stuart Basefsky
New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau


Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Knowledge Solutions

July 2010/88


Bridging Organizational Silos

By Olivier Serrat

[full-text, 5 pages]



To develop and deliver products and services, large organizations rely on teams.

Yet, the defining characteristics of these often hamper collaboration among

different parts of the organization. The root cause is conflict: it must be accepted then

actively managed. Promoting effective cross-functional teams demands that an

enabling environment be built for that.



What’s in a Word?

A silo is a tall, self-contained cylindrical structure

that is used to store commodities such as grain

after a harvest. It is also a figure of speech for

organizational entities—and their management

teams—that lack the desire or motivation to

coordinate (at worst, even communicate) with other

entities in the same organization. Wide recognition

of the metaphor intimates that structural barriers

in sizable organizations often cause units to work

against one another: silos, politics, and turf wars

are often mentioned in the same breath.


An organization is a social arrangement to pursue a collective intent. Coordination,

and the requisite communication it implies, is fundamental to organizational performance

toward that. Yet, many organizations grapple with the challenge of connecting the

subsystems they have devised to enhance specific contributing functions.




This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.

Stuart Basefsky                   
Director, IWS News Bureau                
Institute for Workplace Studies 
Cornell/ILR School                        
16 E. 34th Street, 4th Floor             
New York, NY 10016                        
Telephone: (607) 255-2703                
Fax: (607) 255-9641                       



<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?