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Lecture 10 - Structure of Organizations

by: Leslie Ogu

Lecture 10 - Structure of Organizations ORSC 1109

Leslie Ogu
GPA 3.01
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About this Document

In this class, we discussed how an organization is structured, why they are set up the way they are, the different characteristics of their setup, how this plays out in the real world, and more
Introduction to Organizational Sciences
Costanza, D
Class Notes
structure, Organizational sciences, characteristics, setup, real world, centralization, formalization, differentiation, complexity




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Leslie Ogu on Friday February 19, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ORSC 1109 at George Washington University taught by Costanza, D in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 24 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Organizational Sciences in Humanities and Social Sciences at George Washington University.


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Date Created: 02/19/16
Leslie Ogu ORSC 1109  02/22/2016 ­ Structure of Organizations    How are Organizations Set Up  ● Division of Labor ­ work is divided  ○ Implies some ​ Hierarchy  ○ Creates need for rules and policies  ○ Weber  ​­ one of the first people to write about it  ■ discussed the efficiency of structures    What Does a Structure do for an Organization?  ● Should help attain goals  ● Minimizes individual variation  ○ organizations want a person to do their job, and nothing else  ● Sets the stage for other organization characteristics like influence, leadership,  and interactions    Characteristics  ● Differentiation or Complexity ­​  the number and dispersion of unique tasks  performed by the organization  ○ More differentiation makes it harder to control  ○ Sets up challenge of command and control  ○ Challenge to keep ​ integration​ with all the complexity  ○ Different types of differentiation  ■ Horizontal Differentiation​  ­ not doing anything new, just more of  whatever it is they are already doing  ● Count the total number of jobs  ● Maximum Specialization​  ­ being really good at one aspect  of the product or job  ● Duplication​  ­ more people doing it  ● Why would an organization be this way?  ○ Can happen unintentionally or intentionally depending  on environmental pressures  ■ Vertical Differentiation​ ­ organizations that require a lot of levels  of management  ● Count number of levels  ● Created to get control of complexity and differentiation  ■ Geographical Differentiation​  ­ opening branches in other cities,  states, or countries  ● Count different number of locations  ■ All three kinds can work together  ● Centralization  ○ As organizations get bigger both horizontally and vertically, they tend to  get less centralized  ■ size = less  ■ technology = less (more complicated technology makes  organizations less centralized)  ■ Environmental Dynamism ​ can lead to less or more centralization  (no one way)  ○ Challenge of Centralization is balance  ■ Have to give enough authority so managers can make some  decisions but not too much or they will run rampant, or go crazy  ● Formalization​  ­ an organization following strict rules and guidelines  ○ The more they follow, the more formalized the group is  ○ Organizations tend to be formalized when there is a higher risk or cost of  mistake  ○ Two Types:  ■ De jure ​­ written down rules and guidelines  ● Risk or cost is more in effect  ■ De facto​ ­ way things work but no written guidelines  ● Culture plays more in effect  ○ Challenge is to balance formalization and flexibility 


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