What is Organizational Structure?
Organizational structure is a management concept that outlines the methods of doing activities in the organization from beginning to end in order to achieve the defined goals and objectives. It is concerned with creating different departments and divisions of work for the simplicity of performing the jobs.
A properly organized structure defines all the necessary information that an organization consists of such as rules, roles, responsibilities, flows of work, flows of information, and so on. And it is concerned with organizational design.
The development of a particular organizational structure defines the authority-responsibility relationship. The form of an organizational structure depends upon the nature and size of the organization. Thus, it varies from organization to organization.
The main objective of organizational structure is to develop an organization concept that helps all members to understand easily their rules, roles, and responsibilities. It helps to make a mutual understanding among employees and the organization.
The types of organizational structure are,
- Line Organization Structure
- Functional Organization Structure
- Line and Staff Organization Structure
- Committee Organization Structure
- Matrix Organization Structure
After understanding what is an organization structure, a question arises in our mind, how to develop an effective organizational structure?
Let’s understand the process of structuring an organization through step-by-step guide,
Organizational Structure Designing Process
Step 1: Designing Jobs
Job design is the first step in designing organizational sturecre. Job design is the process of dividing complex job into simple task or activities and grouping similar task into a job package. It is a process of defining individual’s work-related responsibilities.
Jobs can be redesigned by one or more methods among job rotation, job enlargement, job enrichment, job empowerment, making semi-autonomous groups, and providing alternative work arrangements.
Step 2: Grouping Jobs (Department)
In this step, similar job activities are grouped into units or departments with some logical arrangement. But it is almost impossible to manage everything if the organization grows up. In such situation, different managerial jobs need to be created and managers need to be hired.
Departmentation can be done on the basis of function, on the basis of product, on the basis of customers, on the basis of location, on the basis of time to serve, etc. From departmentalization, different positions are created.
Step 3: Establishing Reporting Relations
It is required to clarify who needs to report to whom. Normally, lower positions are required to report to a subsequently higher position (immediate superior). Such relationships are established in vertically linear form.
This is called the chain of command. Thus, a chain of command is a clear and distinct line of authority among the positions in an organization.
Step 4: Distributing Authority
Authority is the decision making power. Each job position should have a certain degree of authority which allows employees to make decisions during the job done. This is a source of inspiration to the employees. There must be a balance between responsibility and authority to maintain good coordination, prompt decision, and discipline in the organization.
Thus, in the organizing process, the authority should be properly distributed among the job position. Only required and sufficient authority should be fixed with responsibility.
Step 5: Coordinating Activities
Coordination is the process of linking the activities of the various departments of the organization. Efforts and output of each department should be integrated in order to increase the organizational efficiency. Thus, efforts of departments should be coordinated.
Coordination is essential because of interdependency of departments for information and resource. Greater the interdependency more coordination is required in the organization.
For effective coordination, effective communication channels need to be established.
Step 6: Differentiating Between Positions
Finally, as the last building block of organizational structure, line position and staff position need to be differentiated.
A line position is a position in the direct chain of command while a staff position is a position created for providing expertise suggestions, advice, and support to line position. Staff positions are temporary in nature and hold very little authority.
There can be contradiction between a staff position and a line position. Thus, line and staff position should be differentiated clearly.
An organizational structure is formed to provide understandable nature of the organization so that the work could be done effectively and efficiently. Thus a proper organizational structure is needed to complete the given jobs as required to achieve the organizational goals.