Mintzberg’s Theories On Organizational Configuration

2139 WordsJan 31, 20189 Pages
Mintzberg’s Theories On Organizational Configuration According to Mintzberg, every organized human activity – from the making of pottery to the placing of a man on the moon – gives rise to two fundamental and opposing requirements: the division of labour into various tasks to be performed and the coordination of those tasks to accomplish the activity. Structure is simply the way in which an organization divides labor into distinct tasks and achieves coordination of these tasks. According to Henry Mintzberg, organizations have only a few basic structures or configurations. These are identified by how key organizational attributes – such as organizations’ component parts, the mechanisms they use to coordinate their work, the elements of their organizational design, their power systems, and their external environment – interrelate in various ways as parts of the total organizational system. According to Mintzberg 7 basic organizational configurations are: 1) the entrepreneurial, 2) the machine, 3) the diversified, 4) the professional, 5) the innovative, 6) the missionary, and 7) the political. Configuration, as Mintzberg argues, is necessary for organizations to achieve stability in their internal characteristics, create synergy in their work processes, and establish a fit with their external environment. As well, argues Mintzberg, an understanding of the dynamics of configuration is essential to those seeking a better understanding of organizations. Before turning to a
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