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Chapter Thirty-Nine - Different Types of Organizations

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"How do we organize?"
Andrew J. Harvey and Raymond E. Foster (Leadership: Texas Hold 'em Style).

Articles on Organizational Design

Organizational Theory: Determinants of Structure
The objective here is to understand why organizations have the structure that they do. By "structure" I mean things like degree and type of horizontal differentiation, vertical differentiation, mechanisms of coordination and control, formalization, and centralization of power. See handouts page for more information on organizational structure. According to Taylor, Fayol, Weber and other classical theorists, there is a single best way for organization to be structured. Yet organizations vary considerably on structural attributes. The objective of much research has been to understand what determines these variations. Is it random or systematic? Are some organizations simply less perfect than others, or are different designs better for different situations?

Selecting an Organizational Structure for Your Business
A business is established with the objective of making a profit. The business may be raising something to sell: sugar beets, livestock, wheat, Christmas trees. The business may be the performance of a service: altering clothes, housekeeping or painting. Or the business may be manufacturing or making something: fishing waders, coats or wedding gowns. Regardless of the product or service provided, every business owner needs to decide what form of business organization is most appropriate.

BEYOND THE M-FORM: Toward a Managerial Theory of the Firm
The post-War growth in the United States created an extraordinary new set of opportunities and challenges for the management of companies operating in that era. In turn, as companies developed new strategic approaches, created innovative organizational forms, and redefined management roles in response to the changing environment, they stimulated a wave of research that sought to enrich and even redefine the theory of the firm. It was in this golden era of research in the late 1950s through the 1960s that many of the foundations of current management theory were laid.

Organizational Structure
One of the most challenging tasks of a business may be organizing the people who perform its work. A business may begin with one person doing all the necessary tasks. As the business becomes successful and grows, however, there is generally more work, and more people are needed to perform various tasks. Through this division of work, individuals can become specialists at a specific job. Because there are several peopleoften in different locationsworking toward a common objective, "there must be a plan showing how the work will be organized. The plan for the systematic arrangement of work is the organization structure.

Learning and Competitiveness: The Role of Matrix Organizational Structures
Matrix structures, unlike traditional structures are designed for both performance and learning. The learning capability of a matrix structure enables the organization to innovate and change--to be competitive in a dynamic and complex environment. To date, firms have used the matrix structure primarily for performance and neglected its capacity to engender learning--a unique and important characteristic. In this paper the role of matrix structures is examined to show its relationship to learning and competitiveness. Each of the roles within the matrix structure will be analyzed and distinguished from those of traditional structures.

A New Paradigm for Organizational Structure
It is increasingly obvious that the Air Force lives in a constantly changing organizational climate: force reductions put end strength in constant flux, planners struggle with budgetary uncertainty, and missions are realigned among units. As we redesign our forces to fit real-world constraints and continue meeting mission requirements, it is important that we seriously consider how we envision our organizations and determine whether our traditional organizational structure is meeting our needs. If that structure is inadequate, we must find a new way to understand the organizational systems we manage or work within. With this in mind, this article explores a powerful new concept of organizational design, relates it to the Air Force, and discusses whether this breakthrough in organizational structure can help improve the way the Air Force does business.

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Web-based resources

The Organizing Process

Organizational Structure: An Overview

Legal Organizational Structure


Principles of Organizational Design (Tutorial)

Organizational Structure

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