Structure in Five

Topics: Organizational structure, Organization, Bureaucracy Pages: 35 (10376 words) Published: July 23, 2011
Structure in 5's: A Synthesis of the Research on Organization Design Author(s): Henry Mintzberg Source: Management Science, Vol. 26, No. 3 (Mar., 1980), pp. 322-341 Published by: INFORMS Stable URL: Accessed: 22/01/2010 02:03 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use. Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed page of such transmission. JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact

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MANAGEMENT SCIENCE Vol. 26, No. 3, March 1980 Printed in U.S.A.

The elements of organizational structuring-which show a curious tendency to appear in five's-suggest a typology of five basic configurations: Simple Structure, Machine Bureaucracy, Professional Bureaucracy, Divisionalized Form, and Adhocracy. The elements include (1) five basic parts of the organization-the operating core, strategic apex, middle line, technostructure, and support staff; (2) five basic mechanisms of coordination-mutual adjustment, direct supervision, and the standardization of work processes, outputs, and skills; (3) the design parameters-job specialization, behavior formalization, training and indoctrination, unit grouping, unit size, action planning and performance control systems, liaison devices (such as integrating managers, teams, task forces, and matrix structure), vertical decentralization (delegation to line managers), and horizontal decentralization (power sharing by nonmanagers); and (4) the contingency factors-age and size, technical system, environment, and power. Each of the five configurations relies on one of the five coordinating mechanism and tends to favor one of the five parts. In Simple Structure, the key part is the strategic apex, which coordinates by direct supervision; the structure is minimally elaborated and highly centralized; it is associated with simple, dynamic environments and strong leaders, and tends to be found in smaller, younger organizations or those facing severe crises. The Machine Bureaucracy coordinates primarily by the imposition of work standards from the technostructure; jobs are-highly specialized and formalized, units functional and very large (at the operating level), power centralized vertically at the strategic apex with limited horizontal decentralization to the technostructure; this structure tends to be found in simple, stable environments, and is often associated with older, larger organizations, sometimes externally controlled, and mass production technical systems. The Professional Bureaucracy relies on the standardization of skills in its operating core for coordination; jobs are highly specialized but minimally formalized, training is extensive and grouping is on a concurrent functional and market basis, with large sized operating units, and decentralization is extensive in both the vertical and horizontal dimensions; this...
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