Strategic Management: Formulation and Implementation

Elements That Determine Organizational Structure

This section is based largely on Kathryn M. Bartoland David C. Martin, Management, McGrawHill, Inc., 1991,334 363.

Structure is more than an organizational chart. Organizational structure is considered by many to be "the anatomy of organization, providing a foundation within which the organization functions" similar to the anatomy of a living organism. Thus, the structure of an organization can be viewed as a framework. The idea of structure as framework "focuses on the differentiation of positions, formulation of rules and procedures, and prescriptions authority".

Here organizational structure is viewed as having fourelements:

  1. The assignment of tasks and responsibilities that define the jobs of individuals and units.
  2. The clustering of individual positions into units and units into departments and larger units to form an organization's hierarchy.
  3. The various mechanisms required to facilitate vertical coordination, such as the number of individuals reporting to any given managerial position and the degree of delegation of authority.
  4. The various mechanisms needed to foster horizontal coordination, such as task forces and interdepartmental teams.