Organization structure is that form organization which is obvious in terms of departments, functions, divisions and also the way people interact and are linked together. Organization structure shows the horizontal links between the top managers and the lower level employees and the vertical operational responsibilities which is usually represented by the organization chart almost like a family tree. “The complexity of an organization’s structure is often proportional to its size and its geographic dispersal. The traditional organization structure for many businesses in the 20th century was the bureaucracy, originally defined by Max Weber.” The most recent forms in the organization structure include the ‘team structure, network structure, boundary-less structure and the virtual structure which is mainly part of the boundary-less structure. Harold J. Leavitt defines organization structure as: “Organization structure is inextricably linked to the technology and people who perform the tasks.” Whereas Charles Handy explains that “it is also directly linked to corporate culture.” Organizational structure however should not be confused with organizational design as both of them are different. Organizational structure is defined as “The formal system of task and reporting relationships that controls, coordinates, and motivates employees so that they cooperate to achieve an organizations goals” whereas organizational design is defined as “The process by which managers select and manage various dimensions and components of organizational structure and culture so that an organization can achieve it’s goals”.

The manager’s main task is usually to create such an organizational structure and culture which supports and encourages employees to work harder and to develop loyal work attitudes, it should also allow teams and groups to work together in a cooperative and effective environment. Below are the different factors that affect structure and culture:

•    Motivation
•    Cooperation and teamwork
•    Employee performance
•    Interdepartmental and intergroup relationships
•    Behavior

Organization structures vary on the basis of the following organizations:

•    Informal organization
•    Formal organization
•    Hierarchical organization
•    Flat organization

Following are the different types of structures that are being used by organizations all over the world today:

•    Pre-bureaucratic structures
•    Post-bureaucratic structures
•    Divisional structure
•    Functional structure
•    Bureaucratic structures
•    Matrix structure:
a.    Functional/Weak matrix
b.    Functional/Balanced Matrix
c.    Project/Strong Matrix

•    Team
•    Network
•    Boundary-less structure
•    Virtual Structure

Organization structures are a very important factor for the organization to work in an orderly and systemized manner. Without an organization structure a company cannot prosper, there are different kinds of structures for small and large organizations. Government organizations have different structures than that of the private organizations. Organization structures help to facilitate working relationships between different entities in an organization and improve efficiency and quality of work, because of the constant back and forth of communication. However, it only works if the right structure is employed by a particular organization, for instance it wouldn’t be right for a large organization working on the virtual structure to change to the bureaucratic structure. Organization structures should be reviewed and implemented and changed from time to time in every organization to keep up with changing trends in the business world; however an entire change in the complete structure should also be launched if problems with the present structure persist.

Written By

Hannah Paul