Organizational structure and work design

Education of members and public in cooperative principles. These original principles were geared to protect workers from the power of capital as the industrial revolution in Britain was in full swing. In all these stories you will find implicit or explicit political narratives, yet this emerging reorganization of tech companies is not centered around political goals.

Organizational structure and work design

When a work group is very small and face-to-face communication is frequent, formal structure may be unnecessary, but in a larger organization decisions have to be made about the delegation of various tasks.

How 4 Top Startups are Reinventing Organizational Structure | Process Street

Thus, procedures are established that assign responsibilities for various functions. It is these decisions that determine the organizational structure. In an organization of any size or complexity, employees' responsibilities typically are defined by what they do, who they report to, and for managers, who reports to them.

Over time these definitions are assigned to positions in the organization rather than to specific individuals. The relationships among these positions are illustrated graphically in an organizational chart see Figures 1a and 1b. The best organizational structure for any organization depends on many factors including the work it does; its size in terms of employees, revenue, and the geographic dispersion of its facilities; and the range of its businesses the degree to which it is diversified across markets.

There are multiple structural variations that organizations can take on, but there are a few basic principles that apply and a small number of common patterns.

The following sections explain these patterns and provide the historical context from which some of them arose. The first section addresses organizational structure in the twentieth century.

The second section provides additional details of traditional, vertically-arranged organizational structures. This is followed by descriptions of several alternate organizational structures including those arranged by product, function, and geographical or product markets.

Next is a discussion of combination structures, or matrix organizations. The discussion concludes by addressing emerging and potential future organizational structures.

For instance, why are the old, but still operational steel mills such as U. Steel and Bethlehem Steel structured using vertical hierarchies? Why are newer steel mini-mills such as Chaparral Steel structured more horizontally, capitalizing on the innovativeness of their employees?


Part of the reason, as this section discusses, is that organizational structure has a certain inertia—the idea borrowed from physics and chemistry that something in motion tends to continue on that same path. Changing an organization's structure is a daunting managerial task, and the immensity of such a project is at least partly responsible for why organizational structures change infrequently.

At the beginning of the twentieth century the United States business sector was thriving. Industry was shifting from job-shop manufacturing to mass production, and thinkers like Frederick Taylor in the United States and Henri Fayol in France studied the new systems and developed principles to determine how to structure organizations for the greatest efficiency and productivity, which in their view was very much like a machine.

Even before this, German sociologist and engineer Max Weber had concluded that when societies embrace capitalism, bureaucracy is the inevitable result. Yet, because his writings were not translated into English untilWeber's work had little influence on American management practice until the middle of the twentieth century.

Organizational structure and work design

Management thought during this period was influenced by Weber's ideas of bureaucracy, where power is ascribed to positions rather than to the individuals holding those positions. It also was influenced by Taylor's scientific management, or the "one best way" to accomplish a task using scientifically-determined studies of time and motion.

Also influential were Fayol's ideas of invoking unity within the chain-of-command, authority, discipline, task specialization, and other aspects of organizational power and job separation. This created the context for vertically-structured organizations characterized by distinct job classifications and top-down authority structures, or what became known as the traditional or classical organizational structure.

Job specialization, a hierarchical reporting structure through a tightly-knit chain-of-command, and the subordination of individual interests to the superordinate goals of the organization combined to result in organizations arranged by functional departments with order and discipline maintained by rules, regulations, and standard operating procedures.An organizational structure defines how activities such as task allocation, Its design combines functional and product based divisions, with employees reporting to two heads.

Such structure is common when the work is simple and repetitive. Create the right organizational structure for your business. How you structure your business depends on the size, the industry, and the existing culture. Organizational design is a step-by-step methodology which identifies dysfunctional aspects of work flow, procedures, structures and systems, realigns them to fit current business realities/goals and then develops plans to implement the new changes.

The process focuses on improving both the technical and people side of the business. Jun 26,  · A construction company’s organizational structure refers to both the arrangement of job roles and the reporting and operational relationships between and within these roles.

There is a relationship between organizational design and structure because of different factors. Organizational size, organizational life cycle, strategy, environment and technology work together. Organizational structure depends on the product to be developed. Wheelwright and Clark define a continuum of organizational structures between two extremes, .

What is Organizational Design?