Organizational Structure and Design

Organizational Structure and Design

Organizational Structure and Design

Organizational Structure and Design

Excerpt

Our purpose is to introduce you to a useful way of thinking about the structural design of organizations, and to make you aware that the structure of an organization is not an immutable given, but rather a set of complex variables about which managers can exercise considerable choice.

It is useful to make a distinction between the basic structure and the operating mechanisms which implement and reinforce this basic structure. Design of the basic structure involves such central issues as how the work of the organization will be divided and assigned among positions, groups, departments, divisions, etc., and how the coordination necessary to accomplish total organizational objectives will be achieved. Choices made about these issues are usually publicized in organization charts and job descriptions. If we recognize that behavior in an organization is influenced by a system of variables (technical, individual, social and organizational inputs), it is obvious that such formal documents are only one method of signaling to individuals what behavior is expected of them. Nevertheless, this method is important because it is so widely used by managers to define and communicate their expectations of other organization members.

Managers also can reinforce the intent of their basic structural design through what we call operating mechanisms. Operating mechanisms include such factors as control procedures, information systems, reward and appraisal systems, standardized rules and procedures, and even spatial arrangements. These structural variables can be used to more clearly signal to organizational members what is expected of them, to motivate them toward their assigned part of the organization's goal, and, as necessary, to . . .

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