Does Size Matter? The Difference between a Large Organization and a Smaller City

2014 APWA Florida Chapter Conference and Exposition



There are several differences that are obvious and some that are not between a large organization and a smaller organization. Obvious contrasts include population and area served. Some not so obvious may be span of control, organizational structure, available skill-sets, and the involvement and expectations of elected officials and citizens.

This presentation will discuss the differences and similarities between the two types of agencies. The presenter will provide insight and concentrate on the contrasts of available resources including labor, equipment, materials, and contracted services; span of control and the importance of having the right mix of talent and direct report ratio; and understating and meeting the expectations of elected officials and citizens.    

The presentation will also discuss how the differences in resource availability, asset quantity and condition and affect levels of service and the meeting expectations.  Further, the presenter will discuss the needed change of basic tenets of conducting business, including the way work and unit costs are tracked, and productivity compared against benchmark and performance goals.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Differentiate and identify the contrasts between a large and small organization.
  2. Identify methodologies to address unique needs of a smaller organization.
  3. Demonstrate and discuss the importance of a small organization to plan, organize, schedule, and control their work.


Robert R. Gordon, P.E.
Director of Public Works, City of Temple Terrace, Florida

Harry Lorick, P.E., PWLF
President, LA Consulting, Inc., Manhattan Beach, California

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