How Great an Impact on an Organisations effectiveness does its Structure have?

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Mark Webb (20075690)        HRM2002        Jan 03

        Organisational Behaviour

How Great an Impact on an Organisations effectiveness does its Structure have?

An organisational structure is very important to any business no matter the size and without a solid structure the staffing function becomes randomly inefficient and ineffective. A good organisational structure will help a management team in any business to achieve high performance through increases in efficiency and effectiveness.

Basic research on organisational structures that are relevant to this essay are those of Lawrence and Lorsch (1967), Drazin and Van de Ven (1985) and Mintzberg (1989). Research on the organisation structures in six enterprises conducted by Lawrence and Lorsch (1967) summarised the features of the organisation structure to be the span of control, number of levels to a shared superior, time span of review of departmental performance, specificity of review of departmental performance and importance of formal rules. Drazin and Van de Ven (1985) defined the organisational structure in terms of specification, standardisation, discretion and personnel expertise. They agreed with Lawrence and Lorsh on the feature of specialisation. Mintzberg (1989) studied seven types of organisations, namely, entrepreneurial, machine, professional, diversified, innovative, missionary and political. He found them to be based on key parts of the organisation, type of decentralisation and their co-coordinating method. All these authors identified the structure of organisation as characterised by not only particular parts but also their horizontal and vertical relationships.

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The three researchers Lawrence and Lorsch, Drazin and Van de Ven and Mintzberg agreed that the structure of an organisation is vital to the performance of the organisation. This would mean that the structure of the management team would certainly affect its performance. They also agree that two basic features of a structure of an organisation are its width as indicated by spans of control, and its height as indicated by the levels of decentralisation.

From the above observations, researchers put forward that the change in the organisational structure, through its shape in terms of width and height, would ...

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