Factors Affecting Organizational Design

1359 WordsOct 2, 20096 Pages
Factors Affecting Organizational Design Although many things can affect the choice of an appropriate structure for an organization, the following five factors are the most common: size, life cycle, strategy, environment, and technology. Organizational size The larger an organization becomes, the more complicated its structure. When an organization is small — such as a single retail store, a two-person consulting firm, or a restaurant — its structure can be simple. In reality, if the organization is very small, it may not even have a formal structure. Instead of following an organizational chart or specified job functions, individuals simply perform tasks based on their likes, dislikes, ability, and/or need. Rules and guidelines are not…show more content…
She conducted a study of technology and structure in more than 100 English manufacturing firms, which she classified into three categories of core-manufacturing technology: • Small-batch production is used to manufacture a variety of custom, made-to-order goods. Each item is made somewhat differently to meet a customer's specifications. A print shop is an example of a business that uses small-batch production. • Mass production is used to create a large number of uniform goods in an assembly-line system. Workers are highly dependent on one another, as the product passes from stage to stage until completion. Equipment may be sophisticated, and workers often follow detailed instructions while performing simplified jobs. A company that bottles soda pop is an example of an organization that utilizes mass production. • Organizations using continuous-process production create goods by continuously feeding raw materials, such as liquid, solids, and gases, through a highly automated system. Such systems are equipment intensive, but can often be operated by a relatively small labor force. Classic examples are automated chemical plants and oil refineries. Woodward discovered that small-batch and continuous processes had more flexible structures, and the best mass-production operations were more rigid structures. Once again, organizational design depends on the type of business. The small-batch and continuous processes work
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