Relationships between Family and Organizational Objects
Developing an organizational structure is not merely definition of organizational objects; it’s basically the relationship between two / more objects which must exist to call it a structure. I’m Faisal – an object identified by object type Person. Similarly my Wife & Children are individual objects. When my family is described, it’s because of relationships which exist between me & members of my family. How this relationship is defined depends on the object. If you mention my relationships to my family you’d say, “Faisal is husband of / father of … etc”. When you say “Faisal is father of Ibrahim” you say it as I’m the subject. However, if my child is the subject, you’d describe the same relationship differently, right? What would you say in this case? For sure, you’d say, “Ibrahim is child of Faisal”. The relationship between me and Ibrahim is of Father & Child. It is basically one relationship but of two types. If you know one relationship type, you know the other, don’t you? Such as when I say, Faisal is father of Ibrahim, doesn’t it mean Ibrahim is child of Faisal? Yes, it does. These relationships are bi-directional; one relationship but described in two directions. So from higher Object to lower Object you define a “B” relationship type while its “A” if viewed in an opposite direction. So what is Father relationship type? B or A? Decide yourself. The relationships we define in an organizational structure are not so different than the family example. You relate the objects with specific relationships. An organizational unit may be related to another organizational unit and it may have various positions. Those positions at one side are described by a job (one type of relationship) and are held by persons (another type of relationship). All the objects in an organizational structure are related in the same fashion.
Evaluation Path – Illustrated with a relationship in family (Uncle)
By the way you didn’t ask why do we ‘define’ relationships and why not just ‘describe’ them? In other words, why not we just describe the relationship as the object’s attribute. Why do we maintain a specific relation “is father of” and so on? Well, it’s basically to simplify the evaluation process. If you’ve to evaluate specific line of relationships, such as uncles, without having relationships explicitly defined, you would end-up with list of maternal and paternal uncles even their cousins as well; after all they all considered uncles and they’re described with the same text ‘uncle’. However, with the relationships between objects the task is much simpler. When you relate an uncle/nephew relationship with a child, you already have related him with his parents and those uncles obviously have some relationships with his parents. Guess which relationship? Yes, its ‘brother’. So with so many relationships around the object, its easy to identify a particular uncle type. Can you now differentiate paternal uncle of child from the picture (Relationships)?
You may understand “Evaluation Path” concept with the above example. You’ve number of Organizational Units, Positions and Persons in your organization. However, you needed a list of all positions within specific Organizational Unit occupied with persons and vacant. You could do it with particular evaluation path. Don’t tell me you can’t do it as you already know how to identify paternal uncle of a child out of two uncles the child (in illustration) has 🙂