Mechanistic Versus Organic Structures

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Mechanistic versus Organic Structures

a. Mechanistic Structure is appropriate for organizations focusing on a cost- minimization strategy through tight control, extensive division of labor, high formalization and centralization. The information network is limited and employees rarely participate in decision making process.

b. Organic Structure is decentralized and has low complexity and formalization. It has an extensive information system, and employees rarely participate in decision making. It tends to be flexible and adaptive.

c. Structure in function of the organization’s fundamental strategy.

1) Innovation Strategy focuses on developing important new product or services. An organic structure provides the flexibility for this strategy.

2) Cost-minimization Strategy imposes tight controls over expenses and reduces product prices. The mechanistic structure is appropriate.

3) Imitation strategies are not adopted by true innovators but rather by organizations that move into new markets after smaller competitors have demonstrated the potential for success. Limitation best suited to a structure that combines mechanistic and organic.

d. Structure is also a function of

1) Size. Larger organizations tend to be mechanistic because greater formalization is needed. Strategies also change as sizes changes. Growing organizations often expand activities within their industry.

2) Technology. An organic structure may be best for coping with non-routine technology because formalization is low.

3) Environment. In general, the more stable the environment, the more mechanistic the organization. A mechanistic structure is appropriate when the environment has little capacity for growth. Dynamic environments require an organic structure because of their unpredictability. Moreover, a complex environment also requires the flexibility and adaptability of an organic structure.

a) The environment has three...
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