The mechanics of how people organize themselves when in groups has been a topic of great interests to theorists and practitioners alike. The theorists can be placed into two groups: One group approaching the study of organizational structure from sociological view point e.g Weber(1947),Morgan while the others taking managerial perspective e.g. Mintzberg, Pugh and Handy. The paper is intended to discuss organizational structure with bias to management and business perspective. Definition of an Organization structure
Mintzberg (1979) defined organization structure as the sum total of the ways in which it divides its labour into distinct tasks and then achieves coordination between them. Cole (1995) defines organizational structure as an intangible web of relationships between people, their shared purpose and the tasks they set themselves to achieve those purpose. According to Cole, the prime purpose of structure is to achieve an effective balance between the division of tasks and responsibilities on one hand, and the need to coordinate individuals efforts and roles on the other, the understanding of the members of an organization acquire about their own structures may be as much based on unwritten evidence and informal arrangements as on any formal statements of rules, procedures and role descriptions. The Purpose of an organizational structure
The organizational structure(OS) is acknowledging a group’s need to allocate tasks and responsibilities between members. It also identifies and classifies particular roles and levels of responsibilities. The OS recognition of the need to coordinate activities and roles once they have been allocated. It is also an attempt to facilitate and regulates the following: The flow of information in the group in an organization
The decision – making process is likely to serve in some measures as means of resolving differences or problems between members in an organization. The Fundamental issues of structure in an organization
The organization structure allocates work and authority in an organization- to coordinate and control activities in the company or firm. The structure may also be designed to respond to other pressures i.e changing commercial, social and labour environment in order to incorporate new technology or re-engineering of an organization. The allocation of work and authority is an aspect of division of tasks and responsibilities Hence the structure aims to provide a framework that may contain the pressure exerted by these two opposing forces. The Organizational Structure is important because it ensures that there is an efficient operation of a business and it clearly defines its workers and their functions. The organizational structure also helps define the hierarchy and the chain of command. Major variables in formulation of an organization structures In establishing an organization structure there are a number of activities that take place in its designing , the members of the organization need to address and will be confronted by and seeks to resolve the often conflicting demands between a number of important variables. Some of these variables include the following: Purpose/Goals- The fundamental aim and goals of the group, the structure should follow the strategy just as the left foot follows the right foot. The structure designed should be aligned to the purpose and goals of the organization for it to deliver effective results. People- the consideration of the people, who make the organization, have the members of staff involved in designing the intended structure. Effective participation ensures commitments and reduces conflict during implementation stage. Tasks- basic activities that are required to achieve organizational aims and goals Technology- The technical aspect of internal environment, does the organization have the technology intended by the newly designed structure. External environment- the external...