Last Updated 12 May 2020

Managing Modern Organization

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In the contemporary  word,  the  structure  of  organizations  is  affected  by  various  factors. Firstly, it  is  affected  by  the  strategy  which  the  organization  employs  in  under  taking  its  operations. Strategy  by  definition   refers  to  the   means  or  vehicle  that   is  used  towards  achievement  of  the  set  objectives  of  the  organization. Ideally, strategies are designed from the   objectives. Strategy determines the kind of   structure   which an organization adopts. It  therefore  follows  that  if  an organization intents  to  significantly change  its  strategy, then  it has also  to  change  its  structure or  adjust it  to  pave  way  for  the  change. Research  has  show  that simple  organizations    with  simple  structures usually  called organic  structures require  to begin  with simple  strategy. As the  organization’s  strategy  grow and  become  diversified,  the   structure  is   modified  accordingly  to  cope  with the  new  strategies.

The second factor that affects   the structure is the size. It is  evident  from   both  research  and  historical  experience  that  the   size  of  an organization  directly  influences  its  structure. Big  organizations   are  characterized  with complex structures  that  has  various  inter relations either  horizontally or  vertically and  narrow  specializations when  it comes  to performance  of  work. The could also have strict  rules  and  regulations which  govern them in their  operations. However,  these features  cease  to apply  as the   organization continually  grows  to  greater heights  thus  adopting  the  organic organizational characteristics. For  the  small  sized  organizations,  they  have  mechanistic  structure that  is  characterized  by few  and  flexible  rules, non  hierarchical

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relationships and flatter structures (Poole, 2004, p.12).

The  third    factor  that affect  structure  of  an organization is  the   technology  that  it  engages in  production  of  its  products and performance of various corporate activities and processes. It   is   a fact  that   each   and  every  organization employs  some  kind  of  technology  in processing  the  inputs  into  products  that  are  demanded  by the   consumers. Achievement  of this goal utilizes   equipments,  technical know-how and skilled man power to  change  this resources  into  specific products  or  deliverables. Various  studies   have  proved that  there  is a clear  association   between  the size, structure  and  the  technology  that   is  used  for  production in an organization. It has also been found that the   routine-ness of technology used   depends   on structure of the organization. The  technology  that is  used  to  convert  the  in puts  to   products vary  with  their  level of  routines. Basically,  the  more  routine   the  technology  is,  the  more  the  standardized and  mechanistic the  structure can  be. On the   other   hand,   non-routine   technologies are more likely to have organic structures (Poole, 2008, p.17).

The  fourth  and  the  last   factor  that  impact  on the  structure of the organization is the  prevailing  environment. Management  of  organization  require    perpetual orientation to the  ever  changing, unpredictable   and  dynamic  surrounding  conditions  for them  to  remain   within    a competitive  edge  over  its  opponents  and also  remain  relevant   to the  prevailing business times. Due  such environmental  conditions  that  are  a threat  to their survival,   organizations are  restructured as they grow  larger    to become more   flexible, efficient, lean and responsive to the  conditions (Poole, 2004, p.28)

Other   environmental  factors that   call  for  restructuring organizations   are increased  rates  of  innovations, global  competition  due  use of   information  technology, increasing  demand  for   quality  products  by the  consumers and  fast means  of  transport and communication. Mechanistic  organizations are many  times  not   prepared  to deal with such  changes hence they   tend  to  redesign  the  organizations  to  adopt organic structure   which  is  more  responsive   to  environmental  variations.

In conclusion therefore,  it  is   of  great  importance for  managers  and directors of  organizations  to  put  into  consideration all these  factors  in  designing  organization’s  structure.


Poole Marshall & Andrew Van De Ven (2004) Handbook of Organizational and Innovation. Oxford, Oxford University Press, pp.12, 17, 28

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