Different Types of Organizational Structure

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Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.

– Steve Jobs

As Steve Jobs states in the opening quote, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life”, ”and the only way to do great work is to love what you do”. Growing up we all had dreams of what organization we would work for. We dreamt of either owning our own organization or working for someone else’s. We all had different dreams because we all have a different genetic makeup that determined our personality and our values. Since no one person has the same genetic makeup, it is not hard to believe that not all organizations are going to operate the same.

By definition, “organizations are groups of people who are working interdependently toward some purpose.” (McShane, 2013) pg. 4. Knowing that all people have a different genetic makeup and that organizations are made up of groups of people, it is not had to believe that not all organizations are alike. Henry Mintzberg explains five distinct organizational structures one should consider when determining coordination of an organization; simple structure, machine bureaucracy, professional bureaucracy, divisionalized form, and adhocracy. (Mintzberg, 1981) pg. 103.

Simple structure as Mintzberg points out is, “not much more than one large unit consisting of one or a few top managers.” (Mintzberg, 1981) pg. 105. Machine bureaucracy is, “the offspring of industrialization, with its emphasis on the standardization of work for coordination and its resulting low skilled, highly specialized jobs.” (Mintzberg, 1981) pg. 108. Professional bureaucracy’s, “configuration relies on the standardization of skills rather that work processes or outputs for its coordination”. “It relies for its operating tasks on trained professionals – skilled people who must be given considerable control over their own work – the organization surrenders a good deal of its power not only to the professional themselves but also to the associations and institutions that select and train them in the first place.” (Mintzberg, 1981) pg. 109. Divisionalized form, “is not so much an integrated organization as a set of rather independent entities joined together by a loose administrative overlay.” “It is not a complete but partial structure, superimposed on others.” (Mintzberg, 1981) pg. 110. Adhocracy is a structure of interacting project teams. “The managers of adhocracy do not control in the conventional sense of direct supervision; typically, they are experts too who take their place alongside the other in the teams, concerned especially with linking the different teams together.” (Mintzberg, 1981) pg. 112.

As Steve Jobs stated, “the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.” With five different core organizational structures to choose from one might ask how do you determine which is right for you to be truly satisfied? The answer to that is going to depend on the different behaviors, personalities and ethical values of each individual. “There are many varieties of individual behavior, but most can be organized into five categories: task performance, organizational citizenship, counterproductive work behaviors, joining and staying with the organization, and maintaining work attendance.” (McShane, 2013) pg. 37. As Mara stated, “We have a wide range of behaviors within my workplace, some positive while others are negative.” (M. Korkki U1D2, Feb. 24, 2013). “Task performance refers to goal-directed behaviors under the individual’s control that support organizational objectives.” (McShane, 2013) pg. 37-38. Organizational citizenship are the, “various forms of cooperation and helpfulness to others that support the...
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