Organizational Structure - Definition
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What is Organizational Structure?
An organization structure is a visual diagram that represents the hierarchy, roles, and responsibilities of the employees in the company.
Organizational structures use markets, geographical locations, products, functions, or processes to guide them depending on various business sizes.
Back to: Management & Organizational Behavior
A Little More on What is an Organizational Structure
Every company needs an organizational structure to help define the elements the business needs for it to run properly. The elements include:
Chain of command
The chain of command defines the tasks that the management delegates to every employee within the organization. It also helps to know the ranks of leadership that every business department will need. Generally, it helps employees understand how to communicate through the leadership ladder.
Span of control
The span of control in an organizational structure gives an understanding of the mangers and their management roles in the organization.
Centralization concerns the extent to which decision making is centralized in key figures or whether it is dispersed more broadly at various levels of the organization.
Types of Organizational Structure
Companies implement many organizational structures in the real world, these include:
Functional organization structure
Functional structure, also known as bureaucratic structure, divides the company into departments according to the job functions of the employees. For example, a company that uses a functional structure will divide marketers, salespeople, auditors, and customer care into separate departments. A functional structure allows only specialized employees in the departments. In this case, the employees are not able to grow as they stay in one department forever. A functional structure can also create communication barriers between the departments, especially if the company has different products.
Divisional organizational structure
Large companies that have different business units incorporate the divisional structure. The company using this structure has different leadership teams on different products or projects. An example of a company using the divisional structure is the Johnson & Johnson company. The company has different lines of business and products. Each business unit will be operating as its own company, having its sales, marketing, and customer service department.
Flatarchy organizational structure
Flatarchy organizational structure is a structure common with a start-up or small company. It allows employees from different levels to make decisions in the organization. An example of this type of structure is when an organization has an internal hub or innovation center. The company lets the employees pitch any new ideas that might help the company grow. The company will continue running using its normal structure, but this encourages creativity among employees.
Matrix organizational structure
A matrix structure is a structure that allows the employees to report to other bosses depending on the project. For example, a construction company could be having an engineer working on one project. Later on, a new project comes up, and they need his brains on that project. The engineer will have to report to two bosses at the same time. Matrix organizational structure allows the employees to share their knowledge within different divisions in the company. The employees also get to improve their skills and grow professionally. However, the employee needs to understand their roles at the different divisions, as it can be challenging to communicate with the various bosses.
Network organizational structure
Companies that work together to share common resources often use the network structure. A company can also use this type of structure to describe its activities if it outsources most of its services from freelancers. For example, a company may be outsourcing its website for developing services. Any employee who requires these services will know the contact person for the job from the network structure.