16.1 Organizational Structures and Design
- What are mechanistic versus organic organizational structures?
The organizational structure is designed from both the mechanistic and the organic points of view, and the structure depends upon the extent to which it is rigid or flexible. Flexible structures are also viewed as more humanistic than mechanistic structures. The mechanistic organizational structure is similar to Max Weber’s bureaucratic organization. Organic structures are more flexible in order to cope with rapidly changing environments. These structures are more effective if the environment is dynamic, requiring frequent changes within the organization in order to adjust to change. It is also considered to be a better form of organization when employees seek autonomy, openness, change, support for creativity and innovation, and opportunities to try new approaches.
All organizations need structures to accomplish their work, and they need an ability to change in order to sustain and renew themselves over time
16.2 Organizational Change
- What are the fundamental dimensions of change?
It is often said that the only constant is change. Managers need to have the ability to understand the dimensions of change, know what drives change, and know how to implement changes to meet and exceed organizational goals. The three types of change are structural, technological, and culture changes. Managers need to understand change as organizations evolve and grow over time.
One of the key responsibilities of management is to design organizational structures that will allow an organization to accomplish its primary objectives. The structure should always match the need for coordination. Often, managers cannot tell what form the organization should take until they experience the informal organization that determines how work is actually accomplished. Only then can they understand how to draw on the concepts of bureaucracy to appropriately design a structure that will maximize the likelihood of organizational success.
16.3 Managing Change
- How do managers deal with change?
As an organization grows and matures, change becomes necessary to its sustained viability. Thus, another key responsibility for most leaders is the task of designing and managing change. We have reviewed several questions that should be considered when designing a change process, and we have explored several approaches that may be used to guide the development of organizational change.
The field of knowledge about how to change and develop organizations is vast and can be somewhat confusing to the novice learner. The material presented in this chapter provides an overview of key ideas, but there is so much more to learn. Should you wish to become an influential leader of change, it is important to learn more about this very important field of research and practice.