Mechanistic & Organic Structure

Topics: Organization, Management, Organizational studies Pages: 3 (879 words) Published: March 18, 2013
Mechanistic and Organic Structure

WK 1114th Oct, 2012Name: Nicholas Roberts

Organizations are viewed as systems in need of control, authority and governance. A distinction is made between formal structure and governance structure, and a network perspective is adopted to investigate the correspondence between structures, and the functions these structures play within groups (Human Relations vol. 37). As a result, research carried out by Tom Burns and George Stalker in the 1960s resulted in the development and fruition of two distinct Organizational Structures – mechanistic and organic. Organizations utilise the functions of mechanistic and organic structures, in order to manage and run establishments. In the past, organizations usually were mainly bureaucratically structured; which meant order and formal authority was the precipice of what establishments operated under. With the constant evolution occurring within societies, organizations recognised the need for revolution and that these two structures were needed to adjust and remain contemporary. The mechanistic structure is still usually used in collaboration with the bureaucratic structure. It is a management system based on formality and authority, carefully outlining what is to be done by an individual. Mechanistic structures are mainly for companies that operate in stable environments. Organizations that utilise this structure use authority and management as the focal point. Creativity, forward thinking and change is not needed within organisations that have this type of structure. Colleges and universities are perfect examples of organizations with this implementation, for the main reason that rules and guidelines do not have to change to keep students coming to the institution. Education is a necessity for an individual to progress in today’s revolving world, especially higher education, therefore if an individual wants to be part of...

References: Structures of Organizational Governance — Human Relations March 1984 vol. 37 no. 3 207-223
Likert, R. (1981). System 4: A resource for improving public administration. Public Administration Review, 41(6), 674-678. Retrieved from
Hatch, Mary Jo. (2006). Organization Theory: Modern, Symbolic, and Postmodern Perspectives. Oxford University Press.
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