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UM 5 Modern Structuralists

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  • 1. Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya Modern Sturctural Organization Theory
  • 2. Modern Structuralists ● Build on Taylor, Fayol, Weber, and others “classical” structuralists. ● Still very concerned with structure (ways to control and coordinate; Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya finding best structure for the task; specialization; command systems). ● Not as rigid as early structuralists.
  • 3. Burns & Stalker: Mechanistic vs. Organic Systems Mechanistic Organic (best when stable) (for rapid changes) Traditional Less rigid hierarchy organization Formal rules Flexible; fewer rules Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya Mostly vertical All kinds of communication communication Structured More participatory decision making decision making
  • 4. Selznick (1948): Organization as an Organism Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya No formal organization chart can fully describe the “organic” whole.
  • 5. Blau & Scott (1962): Nothing really new here! Repeating Selznick, Barnard, Weber, Merton, etc. ● Repeating Selznick: No formal organization chart can fully describe the “organic” whole. ● Repeating Barnard: Importance of communication and Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya cooperation in organizations ● Repeating Weber & Merton: Bureaucratic structure (& dysfunction)
  • 6. (Walker & Lorsch) Structure: Product vs. Function? ● Weber: Bureaucracy organized by function ● Fayol: Specialization, centralization, but allow horizontal talk across hierarchy ● Gulick: Value of specialization Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya ● Simon: Attacks the “proverbs” lack of clarity on specialization ought to be based on function, product, clients, or location.
  • 7. (Walker & Lorsch) Structure: Product vs. Function? Manufacturing General Mgr. Plant Manger Quality Processing Packaging Warehouse Maintenance Control Manufacturing Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya General Mgr. Maintenance Quality Mgr. Control Mgr. Plant Manger Quality Processing Packaging Warehouse Maintenance Control
  • 8. (Walker & Lorsch) Structure: Product vs. Function? Better collaboration & communications. Better for less predictable tasks needing creative problem solving. Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya Better for stable performance of routine tasks.
  • 9. Mintzberg’s Five Basic Org. Parts Strategic Apex Techno- Support Middle Line structure Staff Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya Operating Core
  • 10. (Burton & Obel) Technology & Structure The impact of technology on organization structure depends on… ● the type of technology (routine; IT?) Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya ● the type of organization (doing mostly automated things? lots of professionals?) ● the size of the organization
  • 11. One big trend so far… Decline but continuation of structural analysis of organizations Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s
  • 12. Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya