Organizational Structure and Management: A Comprehensive Analysis


In the ever-evolving landscape of modern organizations, effective management is crucial to address the emerging challenges. Organizational success hinges on the adept utilization of resources to attain specific objectives. This essay delves into the multifaceted realm of organizational management, focusing on the critical function of organizing. We will explore various facets of organizing, its implications for individuals and groups within organizations, and how it shapes the organizational structure. Furthermore, we will examine the factors influencing organizational design, specifically considering decentralization, communication, and the role of technology.

Lastly, the essay will spotlight two contrasting organizational design models—mechanistic and organic—and emphasize the merits of the organic structure in the context of contemporary business environments.

Organizing: A Multifaceted Function

Organizing, as a fundamental aspect of management, entails the systematic structuring of an organization's resources to achieve its objectives. This multifaceted process involves several key elements, including:

  • Dividing tasks into distinct jobs, a concept that traces its roots back to Adam Smith's ideas in the 1700s.
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  • Assigning these jobs to individuals within the organization.
  • Clustering jobs into units or departments, thereby shaping the organization's structure.
  • Delegating authority and establishing a clear chain of command.

It is important to recognize that organizing is not the sole responsibility of managers. Individuals and groups within organizations also play a pivotal role in shaping the organization through their actions and decisions. The way people interpret actions, impose meanings, and respond to situations significantly impacts the organizational structure. Therefore, the design of an organization is continually reinforced through various mechanisms, such as performance appraisal and compensation systems.

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Factors Influencing Organizational Design

Designing the optimal organizational structure requires a careful consideration of various factors, including strategy, size, technology, and the external environment. Several key questions guide the decision-making process:

  • Should decision-making authority be decentralized?
  • How should the organization address issues like the impact of structure on communication, staff/line conflicts, centralization versus decentralization, and more?

The answers to these questions ultimately shape the organization's design. However, before making any decisions, organizations must take into account the specific context, including their strategy, size, technological requirements, and the dynamics of the external environment.

Mechanistic vs. Organic Organizational Models

Within the spectrum of organizational design, two extreme models stand out: mechanistic and organic. These models, proposed by Tom Burns and G.M. Stalker in their study of electronics firms in the United Kingdom, offer contrasting approaches to structuring organizations.

Mechanistic and organic management systems represent opposite ends of the organizational design spectrum. Organizations can shift along this continuum or occupy intermediate positions, depending on their specific needs and evolving circumstances. The choice of organizational practices within this spectrum depends on the stability of the external environment and the level of technological predictability.

However, this essay focuses on the organic organizational structure—a model characterized by its horizontal, collaborative nature. In an organic structure, there are typically only one or two levels of management, and employees are encouraged to share their expertise and knowledge across the organization. This collaborative atmosphere plays a pivotal role in the day-to-day operations of the business.

Key Features of Organic Design Structure

The organic design structure introduces several key features that distinguish it from mechanistic alternatives:

  • Work organization that avoids overly prescriptive individual task assignments.
  • Varied communication patterns, including detailed decision-making discussions, free and informal exchanges, and both vertical and horizontal communication as needed.
  • An informal and flexible pattern of authority, with roles evolving to address emerging challenges.
  • A shared sense of responsibility among employees for the organization's overall objectives.
  • Delegation of authority to employees with the requisite knowledge, skills, and expertise.

Decentralization is a hallmark of organic structures, empowering lower-level employees and emphasizing their skills and capabilities. While higher-level management remains involved in decision-making, the extent of their involvement depends on the specific organizational context and the nature of the problem at hand.

The Divisional Approach

Organic design often gives rise to the divisional approach, where departments are grouped to achieve specific organizational goals. This approach is prevalent in large corporations serving diverse markets or geographical locations. Each department operates with a degree of self-sufficiency, allowing managers to make decisions without excessive consultation with higher levels of management. The head office primarily serves as a support system and focuses on strategic planning for the organization.

While the divisional approach offers flexibility and adaptability, enabling organizations to respond effectively to change, it can also lead to challenges. The autonomy granted to managers in decision-making may result in the duplication of efforts on futile projects.

The Shift Towards Organic Management

Embracing the organic management structure represents a departure from traditional, mechanistic management techniques. The emphasis shifts from rigid job descriptions, task grading, and task completion monitoring to a more flexible and empowering approach.

In an organic structure, managers set broad goals and provide resources to employees with the knowledge, skills, experience, and expertise to achieve those goals. Employees become experts in their respective domains, while managers take on the role of facilitators, creating the conditions for optimal performance by removing barriers.

It is essential to recognize that organizations operating in uncertain and dynamic environments must align their management practices with this uncertainty rather than attempting to eliminate it. The traditional mechanistic approach, rooted in control and systemization, is ill-suited for such contexts. Instead, organizations must embrace the organic design structure, characterized by facilitation and nurturing of employees to achieve organizational goals amid changing circumstances.

Cultivating Relationships and Communication

In the context of contemporary management, it is imperative to emphasize the development of relationships and effective communication. The organic design model, which promotes collaboration and open communication, aligns more closely with the demands of the modern business landscape.

The conventional approach of viewing management as subordinates' control, often associated with mechanistic design, does not adequately address the complex challenges organizations face today. Regardless of the tools and measures applied, this approach falls short in nurturing innovation and adaptability.


In conclusion, the role of organizing in organizational management is indispensable, encompassing various aspects of structuring and resource allocation. Organizations must consider a multitude of factors when designing their structures, including decentralization, communication patterns, and the influence of technology and external environments.

The organic organizational design model, characterized by collaboration, decentralization, and a focus on employee expertise, is particularly well-suited for addressing the uncertainties of the modern business environment. This model empowers employees, promotes flexible decision-making, and fosters adaptability, positioning success in a rapidly changing world. The mechanistic design, on the other hand, is better suited to stable environments with predictable technological conditions.

Updated: Nov 07, 2023
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Organizational Structure and Management: A Comprehensive Analysis. (2016, Jun 25). Retrieved from

Organizational Structure and Management: A Comprehensive Analysis essay
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