Organizational Design and Structure

Topics: Organization, Organizational studies and human resource management, Structure Pages: 22 (4937 words) Published: May 18, 2012
* 14ORGANIZATIONAL design and structure14 ORGANIZATIONAL design and structure. Chapter Scan. Organizations are structured initially around tasks. As the organization develops, the structure of the ...

Chapter Scan

Organizations are structured initially around tasks. As the organization develops, the structure of the organization can take on many characteristics. Mintzberg illustrated the basic structures as simple structure, machine bureaucracy, professional bureaucracy, divisionalized form, and adhocracy. There is a relationship between size and structure that affects the centralization of the organization. Technology affects organizational structures and affects whether they are categorized as mechanistic or organic.


After reading this chapter, you should be able to do the following:

1.Define differentiation and integration as organizational design processes
2.Discuss six basic design dimensions of an organization.
3.Briefly describe five structural configurations for organizations.
4.Describe four contextual variables for an organization.
5.Explain the four forces reshaping organizations.
6.Discuss emerging organizational structures.
7.Identify two cautions about the effect of organizational structures on people.

key terms

The following key terms are introduced in Chapter 14.

organizational design
organizational structure
contextual variable
hierarchy of authority
simple structure
machine bureaucracy
professional bureaucracy
divisionalized form
technological interdependence
task environment
environmental uncertainty
organizational life cycle


I. THINKING AHEAD: Organizing for Emergencies, Crises, and Disaster Relief

Organizational design is the process of constructing and adjusting an organization's structure to achieve its goals. Organizational structure is the linking of departments and jobs within an organization. The contextual variables that influence organizational design are size, technology, environment, and strategy and goals.



Differentiation is the process of deciding how to divide the work in an organization. Differentiation is a check to ensure that all aspects of the tasks are assigned and will be accomplished. One of the earlier studies found four dimensions (1) manager's goal orientation, (2) time orientation, (3) interpersonal orientation, and (4) formality of structure.


Integration is the process of coordinating the different parts of an organization.


The basic design dimensions are broad, and include the following: Formalization is the degree to which the organization has official rules, regulations, and procedures. An organization may have a formal structure, but may operate informally. Centralization is the degree to which decisions are made at the top of the organization. The quality movement and programs that stress delegating responsibility and decision making to lower levels result in decentralization. At the same time, reductions in organizations have altered the middle management tier of the organization by eliminating part of the central reporting structure. Typically, the larger and longer the organization has been in existence, the more centralized will be its structure. Specialization is the degree to which jobs are narrowly defined and depend on unique expertise. Standardization is the extent to which work activities are described and performed routinely in the same...
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