Organisational Structure with Different Models

Hello Respected Researchers and HR managers, In this section we will discuss about “Organisational Structure with Different Models“. It is very much important for a Researcher as well as HR Concern person/ manager to know the Organisational Structure with Different Models. If researcher or HR Manager could follow the Points accordingly,it would easier to reach the goal. Let’s have a look…


Organisational Structure:

  Structure defines how individuals and groups are organized, or how their tasks are divided and coordinated. There are a variety of organizational structures, which typically emerge as a function of strategy. Take a look at the two structures below. The first one shows a clear separation of duties within a hierarchical rank, and is pyramidal. The second structure is much flatter, where the number of layers is reduced. In a flat organisational structure, it is likely that you will have more interaction with the person at the top of the organisation. A pyramidal structure is not designed to facilitate that type of communication.


Models of Organisational Structure:

The following subsections of organisational structure will examine two primary organisation designs. The first is known as a mechanistic structure. Mechanistic structure is a theme common to three theoretical structures:

bureaucracy, classical management theory, and scientific management. Mechanistic structures stress very high degrees of employee specialization as well as stringent controls and systems that articulate coordination throughout the organisation.

In addition, we will discuss organic structures. These structures tend to be more loosely-knit, in that cross-functional, cross-level teams are more common, communication is often more informal, and the organisation tends to be flatter than a mechanistic organisation. These and other characteristics of organic structures will be discussed below.

Mechanistic Structure: 

  • Bureaucracy: Each employee in Weber’s bureaucracy has specified and official areas of responsibility that are assigned on the basis of competence and expertise. Not only do rules and regulations exist, but these are translated into detailed employment manuals; hence managers use written documents extensively in managing employees. The division of work is fixed, enabling workers to become experts within their small world, or responsibility. Managers of offices, departments, or other groups of workers receive extensive training in their job requirements.


  • Classical Management Theory: Henri Fayol was a French manager who wrote of management theory in the early 1900s, but like Weber’s, his work was not translated into English until well into the 1940s. At the same time the American, Mooney, and the Englishman, Urwick were also contributing to this school of thought. Classical management theorists developed their theories using the military and engineering as a basic foundation for their frameworks of management.
  • Like Weber’s bureaucracy, these theorists emphasised the importance of, and need for hierarchy, order, and hence, predictability. And the traditional hierarchical organisational chart that we are familiar with is what emerged from their emphasis. It represented a network of parts, dependent on each other to deliver the final product. Classical management theorists focus primarily on the design of the total organisation. This is distinct from scientific management, which focusses on both design and management of individual jobs.


  • Scientific Management: The scientific management school of thought is sometimes also referred to as ‘Taylorism,’ in recognition of its founder, Frederick Taylor. He was a foreman at Bethlehem Steel Works. Like the Classical School, there are very clearly laid out managerial responsibilities. It is management who is responsible for creating the vision, selling the vision, and monitoring progress and outcomes. They are the ‘thinkers’ in the organization. Managing organisations, according to Taylor, could be a science, hence the name. It consists of the following characteristics:
  • Managers develop a science for each element of a man’s work, which replaces the old rule of thumb method. Managers scientifically select and then train, teach and develop the worker, whereas in the past the worker chose his work and trained himself as best he could. Managers heartily cooperate with the men so as to insure all of the work being done is in accordance with the principles of the science which has been developed.  Managers have the responsibility to monitor all performance of the men whereas, before scientific management, the workers were pretty much responsible for the outcome of whatever task they were given.

Organic Organisational Structures:

  • Organic structures tend to be significantly flatter than mechanistic structures. In addition, they tend to employ cross-functional teams with low formalization. Typically, communication flows laterally as well as vertically and involves multi-directional decision making. Organic structures characteristically facilitate contributions from lower and middle levels in the organisation that would not be prevalent in mechanistic structures. The following subsections will focus on three forms of organic structure: matrix organisations, network organisations, and so-called boundaryless organisations.


  • Matrix Organisations: Matrix organisations tend to be team driven, and combine the advantages of both functional and product departmentation. A matrix structure is preferred when three primary conditions exist:
  • The first condition refers to resource allocation. The organisation might have a moderate number of product lines, and is a medium-sized organisation. Therefore it is viewed as most efficient to share various resources (people and equipment) across those products. A clothing manufacturer may produce product lines for men, women and children, yet share designers across product lines.
  • The second condition emerges from pressure for two or more outputs to share information and integrate activities. For example, there may be frequent new products (divisional structure) that are highly dependent on in-depth technical knowledge (functional structure). This necessitates a dual-authority structure to manage the balance of power.
  • The third condition exists where the environmental domain of the organisation is characterised by uncertainty and complexity. There may be fast-paced change and high interdependence between departments, which necessitates sharing of information and high coordination in both vertical and horizontal directions.

There are a number of strengths and weaknesses to the matrix structure:

  • Matrix structures are implemented in environments where change is fast-paced and complex, and where goals often necessitate a focus on both product and functional goals. The structure facilitates coordination in an environment of interdependent and complex processes. Often the increased communication lends itself nicely to flexibility, creativity and innovation. The structure enables information to be transmitted and understood very quickly. Politics and power struggles (in theory) can be kept to a minimum, where dual lines of authority require focus on a shared vision. Finally, a matrix structure facilitates the allocation of specialists. Often when individuals are assigned to a functional department, their skills are not shared throughout the organisation. A matrix structure enables economies of scale, by allowing these resources to be spread across a wider terrain.


  • Without strong interpersonal skills, participants working within a matrix structure often find working with dual authority frustrating and confusing. In addition, these structures often require frequent meetings that provide a source of conflict; they can be time consuming and frustrating. Possibly the most significant shortcoming of the matrix structure is its propensity to foster power struggles between two bosses.10 Often there is ambiguity with respect to who reports to whom. In addition, power struggles can erupt from two bosses who have distinct priorities and management styles; this can lead to enormous stress for the individuals that must report to them.


  • Network Organisations: Network structures are also referred to as virtual or modular organisations. These organisations emerged in the 1980s, from the pressures of globalization and deregulation, and the need for flexibility and innovation. A network organisation is an evolving liaison or network of independent companies (suppliers, customers, producers, designers, distributors, competitors) linked together to share and coordinate skills, costs and access to one another’s markets. There are four primary characteristics of a network structure:

Vertical disaggregation: many functions typically performed within an organisation are carried out by independent organisations.

  1. Brokers: often brokers are used to assemble the networks of designers, suppliers, distributors, etc.
  2. Market mechanisms: functions tend to be tied together by market mechanisms rather than plans and controls.
  3. Full disclosure information systems: all participants have broad access, and computerised information systems substitute for extensive trust-building processes.


Boundaryless Organizations:

Mechanistic structures, as well as some organic structures consist of boundaries or barriers that vertically and horizontally divide people. Because various functions and departments are so interdependent, this can be problematic. And often these kinds of barriers stifle productivity and innovation. The notion of a boundaryless organisation was developed by Jack Welch, CEO of General Electric. He believed that boundaries that divide employees by job function, geography or hierarchy, as well as boundaries that create distance between the company and its suppliers and customers, should be eliminated. Cross-managing and cross-functional teams dominate the boundaryless organisation.

The primary focus is on business processes that add value to the customers (for example, new product development, or materials handling). Often customers and suppliers are members of these teams. Boundaryless organisations facilitate communication, where information and knowledge is shared quickly throughout the organisation.


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