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Dr. hab. Jerzy Supernat Institute of Administrative Studies University of Wrocław Determinants of organizational structure.

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Presentation on theme: "Dr. hab. Jerzy Supernat Institute of Administrative Studies University of Wrocław Determinants of organizational structure."— Presentation transcript:

1 dr. hab. Jerzy Supernat Institute of Administrative Studies University of Wrocław Determinants of organizational structure

2 Organizational structure is a consequence of the simultaneous impact of many factors. Fundamental determinants context (situation in which an organization operates) design (organizational actions in regard to structure; decisions made in an organization about how the organization is to be structured)

3 dr. hab. Jerzy Supernat Contextual determinants internal organizational size technology organizational culture external environment national culture Determinants of organizational structure

4 Organizational design strategic choice (designing a structure by the organization itself) institutional isomorphism (making use of already existing organizational forms) dr. hab. Jerzy Supernat

5 Determinants of organizational structure Size of an organization the number of people in an or- ganization the physical capacity of an or- ganization organizational inputs and out- puts financial resources dr. hab. Jerzy Supernat

6 Determinants of organizational structure Technology Technology involves acting on and/or changing an object from one state to another. The object can be a living object, a symbol, or an inanimate object. dr. hab. Jerzy Supernat

7 Determinants of organizational structure Types of technology (based mainly on research by Joan Woodward, 1916-1971): project technology jobbing/unit/one-off technology batch technology small-batch technology large-batch technology line/mass production technology continuous-process technology J. Woodward, Industrial Organization: Theory and Practice, Oxford University Press 1965: Many of the variations found in the organizational structure of the firms studied did […] appear to be closely linked with differences in manufacturing techniques. Different technologies imposed different kinds of demands on individuals and organizations, and these demands had to be met through an appropriate structure. dr. hab. Jerzy Supernat

8 Determinants of organizational structure Organizational culture Chester I. Barnard: One of the main functions of the executive is to set the tone for the entire organization. dr. hab. Jerzy Supernat

9 Kontekstowe uwarunkowania struktury organizacyjnej dr hab. Jerzy Supernat Chester I. Barnard (1886-1961)

10 Determinants of organizational structure Organizational culture – definition Edgar H. Schein (born 1928): A pattern of shared basic assumptions that the group learned as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, that has worked well enough to be considered valid and, therefore, to be taught to new members as a correct way to perceive, think and feel in relation to those problems dr. hab. Jerzy Supernat

11 Determinants of organizational structure Problems related to external adaptation concern views of an organizations tasks and objectives as well as the means to implement and assess them. A solution has to be found for them so that the organization can function and succeed in its environment. Problems related to internal integration concern the crea- tion of a common language and concepts, defining group limits, the level of authority relationships and interaction, as well as methods of reward and punishment. A solution has to be found for these so that members of the organization can function together in an organized and predictable working community. dr. hab. Jerzy Supernat

12 Determinants of organizational structure Environment Of primary interest is the social environment of an organiza- tion, but the physical environment (e.g. climate or geography) can also be important, particularly for the organization that utilizes or affects that physical environment.

13 Determinants of organizational structure PEST analysis – analysis of a general (indirect) environ- ment of the organization, usually taking into account four dimensions: - p olitical - e conomic - s ocial - t echnological Show me a friend in need and Ill show you a pest dr. hab. Jerzy Supernat

14 Determinants of organizational structure National culture the national culture is the main factor determin- ing organizational culture – culture bound view organizational characteristics are based on factors other than the national culture – culture free view Samurai of the Satsuma Clan, circa 1867. dr. hab. Jerzy Supernat

15 Determinants of organizational structure National culture and organizational culture overlap. For some issues national culture is most important, whilst for other issues the organizational culture is more important. An analysis of Japanese companies located in the United States by William G. Ouchi and Alfred M. Jaeger, has found the following general differences between Japanese and American firms:

16 American organization 1.Short-term employment. 2.Individual decision making. 3.Individual responsibility. 4.Rapid evaluation and promotion. 5.Explicit, formalized control. 6.Specialized career path. 1.Lifetime employment. 2.Consensual decision making. 3.Collective responsibility. 4.Slow evaluation and promotion. 5.Implicit, informal control. 6.Nonspecialized career path. Japanese organization

17 William G. Ouchi Alfred M. Jaeger

18 Determinants of organizational structure Strategic choice The importance of strategic decisions concerning an organizational structure emphasized Alfred D. Chandler. According to his famous statement: structure follows strategy.

19 Projektowe uwarunkowania struktury organizacyjnej dr hab. Jerzy Supernat Alfred D. Chandler (1918-2007)

20 Determinants of organizational structure The idea of bounded rationality by Nobel laureate Herbert A. Simon (1916-2001) means that strategic decisions are not necessarily optimal decisions. Nevertheless the con- cept of equifinality stresses that decisions and decision making are important. Ludwig von Bertalanffy (1901-1972): In any closed system, the final state is unequivocally determined by the initial conditions: e.g. the motion in a planetary system where the positions of the planets at a time t are unequivocally determined by their positions at a time t°. This is not so in open systems. Here, the same final state may be reached from different initial conditions and in different ways. This is what is called equifinality. dr. hab. Jerzy Supernat

21 Projektowe uwarunkowania struktury organizacyjnej dr hab. Jerzy Supernat Herbert A. Simon

22 Determinants of organizational structure In concrete example an organization faces the choice between: outsourcing (outside resource using) insourcing (inside resource using) dr. hab. Jerzy Supernat

23 Projektowe uwarunkowania struktury organizacyjnej dr hab. Jerzy Supernat Model T Year 1915

24 Projektowe uwarunkowania struktury organizacyjnej dr hab. Jerzy Supernat Model T

25 Projektowe uwarunkowania struktury organizacyjnej dr hab. Jerzy Supernat Henry Ford next to his Model T in 1921.

26 Determinants of organizational structure Institutional isomorphism Paul J. DiMaggio, Walter W. Powell: […] organizations are becoming increasingly homogeneous within organizational fields. […] By organizational field, we mean those organizations that, in the aggregate, constitu- te a recognized area of institutional life: key suppliers resource and product consumers, regulatory agencies and other organizations that produce similar services and products. The virtue of this unit of analysis is that it directs our attention […] to the totality of relevant actors. dr. hab. Jerzy Supernat

27 Projektowe uwarunkowania struktury organizacyjnej dr hab. Jerzy Supernat Paul J. DiMaggio Walter W. Powell

28 Determinants of organizational structure Types of isomorphism: coercive isomorphism (there are coercive forces from the environment, such as government regulations and cultural expectations, which impose standardization on organizations) mimetic isomorphism (organizations mimic or model each other) normative isomorphism (takes place as the workforce, and especially management, becomes more professional- ized) dr. hab. Jerzy Supernat

29 Influence of different factors makes that an organizational structure takes different forms and is dynamic. Nevertheless one shouldnt forget that an organizational structure is for a purpose and that the purpose is to be as effective as possible.

30 Concluding remark The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual. Vince Lombardi (1913-1970) dr. hab. Jerzy Supernat


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