Understanding Organisations: Understanding the Internal and External Organisational Environments

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Understanding Organisations: Understanding the internal and external organisational environments

This section covers:

Organisational theory
Organisation structure
Centralisation and decentralization
Levels of the organization
Mintzberg's nine design parameters
Formal organisational relationships
Definition of an organisation: Systems of activities and behaviours to enable humans and their machines to accomplish goals and objectives… a joint function of human characteristics and the nature of the task environment.

Organisational Theory

Organisations are 'complex adaptive systems' that use people, tasks and technologies to achieve specified goals and objectives. Organisational theory refers to how organisations are
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The purpose of structure is the division of work among members of the organisation, and the co-ordination of their activities so that they are directed towards achieving the same goals and objectives of the organisation. Structure defines tasks and responsibilities, work roles and relationships, and channels of communication.

Objectives of an organisation structure

accountability for areas of work undertaken by groups and individual members of the organisation

co-ordination of different parts of the organisation and different areas of work

effective and efficient organisational performance, including resource utilisation

monitoring the activities of the organisation

flexibility in order to respond to changing environmental factors

the social satisfaction of members of the organisation

Dimensions of organisational structure

Child (1988) suggests six major dimensions as components of an organisation structure:

allocation of individual tasks and responsibilities, job specialisation and definition

formal reporting relationships, levels of authority and spans of control

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