chapter  1
58 Pages

The Structure of Organizations

The decisive reason for the advance of bureaucratic organization has always been its purely technical superiority over any other form of organization. MAX WEBER

It would be entirely premature, then, to assume that bureaucracies maintain themselves solely because of their efficiency. ALVIN W. GOULDNER

It may not be impossible to run an effective organization of 5,000 employees non-bureaucratically, but it would be so difficult that no one tries. THE ASTON GROUP

The danger lies in the tendency to teach the principles of administration as though they were scientific laws, when they are really little more than administrative expedients found to work well in certain circumstances but never tested in any systematic way. JOAN WOODWARD

The organization and control of bureaucracy can be designed so as to ensure that the consequential effects on behaviour are in accord with the needs of an open democratic society, and can serve to strengthen such a society. ELLIOTT JAQUES

The visible hand of managerial direction has replaced the invisible hand of market mechanisms in coordinating flows and allocating resources in major modern industries. ALFRED D. CHANDLER

Transaction cost economizing is, we submit, the driving force that is responsible for the main institutional changes [in corporations]. OLIVER E. WILLIAMSON

Adhocracy [the innovative configuration] is the structure of our age. HENRY MINTZBERG

Increasingly your corporations will come to resemble universities or colleges. CHARLES HANDY

The task [of the transnational organization] is not to build a sophisticated matrix structure, but to create a 'matrix in the minds of managers'. CHRISTOPHER BARTLETT AND SUMANTRA GHOSHAL

All organizations have to make provision for continuing activities directed towards the achievement of given aims. Regularities in activities such as task allocation, supervision and coordination are developed. Such regularities constitute the organization's structure and the fact that these activities can be arranged in various ways means that organizations can have differing structures. Indeed, in some respects every organization is unique. But many writers have examined a variety of structures to see if any general principles can be extracted. This variety, moreover, may be related to variations in such factors as the objectives of the organization, its size, ownership, geographical location and technology of manufacture, which produce the characteristic differences in structure of a bank, a hospital, a mass production factory or a local government department.