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Introduction to Structure in fives. Pål Sørgaard, Telenor R&D and IfI August 29, 2005. Structure in fives. An absolute classic in organisation theory (1983) Author Henry Mintzberg one of the most influential researchers in the field

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introduction to structure in fives

Introduction to Structure in fives

Pål Sørgaard, Telenor R&D and IfI

August 29, 2005

structure in fives
Structure in fives
  • An absolute classic in organisation theory (1983)
  • Author Henry Mintzberg one of the most influential researchers in the field
  • It is based on a more academic textbook: The Structuring of Organizations (1979)
  • Takes a design view of organisations
  • Not the last word in the field: there are critics and new developments
  • If you learn this you have a very good basis for understanding and working in organisations
  • If you study the field deeply, this is an excellent start

Pål Sørgaard, Telenor R&D

why do we have organisations
Why do we have organisations?
  • Views from the students

Pål Sørgaard, Telenor R&D

why study organisations
Why study organisations?
  • We work in (systems development) organisations
  • The way systems development is organised has immense impact on its productivity and quality
  • We usually work with organisations:
    • Our clients are often organisations that need to revise or acquire information systems
    • These systems are often crucial to the performance of the organisation
    • The introduction of such systems is usually associated with important changes in the organisations
    • Such implementation and change processes often fail
    • Properties of systems are often disputed

Pål Sørgaard, Telenor R&D

when we have division of labour we need coordination
When we have division of labour we need coordination
  • Mutual adjustment
  • Direct supervision
  • Standardisation of work processes
  • Standardisation of work outputs
  • Standardisation of skills

Pål Sørgaard, Telenor R&D

an organisation has five main parts
An organisation has five main parts
  • Strategic apex
  • Middle line
  • Support staff
  • Technostructure
  • Operating core
  • Illustrations borrowed from presentations of Bolman and Deal (Wiley Interscience)

Pål Sørgaard, Telenor R&D

five main configurations
Five main configurations
  • Mintzberg proposes five main configurations, or kinds of organisations
  • These are consistent organisational designs in terms of design parameters (i.e. coordination mechanisms) and environmental conditions
  • Mintzberg describes them in terms of
    • Prime coordinating mechanism
    • Key part of organisation
    • Main design parameters
    • Situational factors

Pål Sørgaard, Telenor R&D

simple structure
Simple structure
  • A small shop
  • A new agency
  • A start-up company led by a very dominant person

Pål Sørgaard, Telenor R&D

machine bureaucracy
Machine bureaucracy
  • A traditional airline
  • A steel work
  • A government directorate

Pål Sørgaard, Telenor R&D

professional bureaucracy
Professional bureaucracy
  • University
  • Hospital

Pål Sørgaard, Telenor R&D

divisional form
Divisional form
  • A major corporation
  • A regional health provider
  • The Norwegian government sector

Pål Sørgaard, Telenor R&D

adhocracy
Adhocracy
  • A project based consulting or R&D company
  • Some highly innovative companies or agencies

Pål Sørgaard, Telenor R&D

when describing existing organisations
When describing existing organisations
  • We will meet mixed configurations
  • Perhaps we will meet other main configurations?
    • Are there other consistent configurations?
  • Thus, with our projects, we may see cases that tend to confirm, falsify or call for elaboration of Mintzberg’s theory

Pål Sørgaard, Telenor R&D