ORGANIZATIONAL DESIGN AND
ORGANIC VS MECHANISTIC VS VIRTUAL STRUCTURES
rotation is the practice of periodically
shifting workers through a set of jobs
in a planned sequence.
a. One purpose of job rotation is to combat boredom, but its success is
short-lived if tasks are too simple.
b. Another purpose of job rotation is cross training so that there is
maximum flexibility in job assignments.
c. A related purpose is employee development so that employees increase
their capabilities and understanding of various aspects of the
d. A potential problem is that rotating individuals may be treated as
temporary helps and their loyalty perceived as questionable.
4. Job enlargement
is the allocation of a wider variety of similar tasks
to a job in
order to make it more challenging.
a. Job enlargement broadens job scope,
the number of different tasks an
employee performs in a particular job.
b. The problem is that if additional simple tasks are added, worker
may persist. Too, lower efficiency, mental overload, increased errors,
other problems may develop.
5. Job enrichment,
pioneered by Frederick Hertzberg, is the process of
the job-task mix in order to increase significantly the potential for
achievement, responsibility, and recognition.
a. Job enrichment increases Job depth,
the degree to which individuals can
plan and control the work involved in their jobs.
b. The important job characteristics
model is a model developed to guide
job enrichment efforts that include consideration of
core job characteristics, critical psychological states,
c. The job characteristics model has five core
1) Skill variety
is the extent to which the job requires a number of
activities that require different skills.
2) Task identity
is the degree to which the job allows the
completion of a major identifiable piece of work, rather than just
3) Task significance
is the extent to which the worker sees the job
output as having an important impact on others.
is the amount of discretion allowed in determining
schedules and work methods for achieving the required output.
is the degree to which the job provides clear, timely
information about performance results.
d. According to the job characteristics model, the core characteristics
will increase worker motivation
only if workers experience three critical psychological states.
1) Workers must feel that the work is meaningful.
2) Workers must know they are responsible for the outcomes.
3) Workers must actually find out results.
e. According to the job characteristics model, outcomes of the critical
states will be higher internal
work motivation, greater satisfaction of growth needs, higher general
job satisfaction, and increased
f. The job characteristics model is likely to be used successfully under
1) Workers have high growth-need
strength, the degree to which
an individual needs personal growth and development on the job.
2) Workers are satisfied with other aspects of the job context, i.e.
supervision, pay, coworkers, and job security.
ORGANIZATIONAL DESIGN DECISIONS
Organizations aren’t structured the same way.
Top managers put a lot of thought into how best to design
the organization’s structure. That “best” design depends on four
contingency variables: the organization’s
strategy, size, technology, and degree of environmental uncertainty.
There are two generic models of organizational design.
1. A mechanistic organization
is an organizational structure that is
characterized by high
specialization, rigid departmentalization, narrow spans of control, high
formalization, a limited information
network, and little participation in decision making by low-level
2. An organic organization
is a structure that is highly adaptive and flexible
with little work
specialization, minimal formalization and little direct supervision of
3. When is each design favored? It “depends” on the contingency
Contingency factors—appropriate structure depends on four contingency
1. Strategy and structure
One of the contingency variables that
influences organizational design is the
Most current strategy-structure frameworks
tend to focus on three strategy dimensions:
1) Innovation—needs the flexibility and free flow of information of the
2) Cost minimization—needs the efficiency, stability, and tight controls
of the mechanistic
3) Imitation—which uses characteristics of both mechanistic and organic
Size and structure
There is considerable historical evidence that
an organization’s size
significantly affects its structure. Larger
organizations tend to have more specialization, departmentalization,
centralization and formalization
although the size-structure relationship is not linear.
Technology also has been shown to affect an organization’s choice of
a. Every organization uses some form of technology to transform inputs
b. The study of structure and technology found that organizations
adapted to their technology and
that three distinct technologies had increasing levels of complexity and
1) Unit production
is the production of items in units or small batches.
2) Mass production
is large-batch manufacturing.
3) Process production
is continuous-process production.
Environmental uncertainty and structure
The final contingency factor that has been
shown to affect organizational structure is
One way to manage environmental
uncertainty is through adjustments in the organization’s structure. The
more uncertain the environment, the more flexible and responsive the
organization may need to be.
COMMON ORGANIZATIONAL DESIGNS
A. Traditional organizational designs.
We now need to look at various organizational designs that you might see
in today’s organizations.
1. A simple structure
is an organizational design with low
departmentalization, wide spans of
control, authority centralized in a single person, and little
a. Its strengths are its flexibility, speed and low cost to maintain.
b. Its major drawback is that it’s most effective in small
As an organization grows, the structure tends
to become more specialized and formalized. When
contingency factors favor a bureaucratic or mechanistic design, one of
two options is likely to be
2. One option expands functional departmentalization into the
which is an
organizational design that groups similar or related occupational
3. The other option is the divisional
structure, which is an organizational
structure made up of
autonomous, self-contained units.
B. Contemporary organizational designs.
However, many of today’s organizations are finding that the traditional
designs aren’t appropriate for the increasingly dynamic and complex
environments they face.
1. Team-based structures:
One of the newer concepts in organizational
design is the team-based structure,
which is an
organizational structure made up of work groups or teams that performs
the organization’s work.
2. Project and matrix structures:
Another variation in organizational
arrangements is based on the fact that many of today’s
organizations deal with work activities of different time requirements
a. One of these arrangements is the
matrix organization that assigns
specialists from different
functional departments to work on one or more projects being led by
b. Another of these designs is the
project structure, which is a structure in
which employees are
permanently assigned to projects.
3. Autonomous Internal Units:
Some large organizations have adopted a
structure that’s described as
autonomous internal units,
a design in which there are independent, autonomous decentralized
business units, each with its
own products, clients, competitors, and profit goals.
4. The Boundary less Organization:
Another approach to organizational design is
the boundary less organization,
which describes an
organization whose design is not defined by, or limited to the
horizontal, vertical, or external
boundaries imposed by a predefined structure.
5. Learning Organization:
An organization that facilitate the life long
learning and development of its employees while
transforming itself to respond to changing demands and needs of market.