1. the crew have routine, habituated action patterns. they come together from a common pool of
people, and while they had not come together at the same places or times, they did come together
around the same episode of ﬁre.
2. the crew ﬁts the 5 criteria for a simple organisational structure proposed by mintzberg
I. coordination by direct supervision
II. strategy planned at the top
III. little formalised behaviour
IV. organic structure
V. the person in charge tending to formulate plans intuitively - meaning that the plans are
generally a direct “extension of his own personality”
*structures like this are found most often in entrepreneurial ﬁrms
3. The crew has “generic subjectivity”
=> meaning that roles and rules exist that enable individuals to be interchanged with little
disruption to the ongoing pattern of interaction.
in the crew at Mann gulch there were at least 3 roles:
I. leader: sizes up the situation, makes decisions, yells orders, pick trails, sets the pace, and
identiﬁes escape routes.
ii. 2nd in command: brings up the rear of the crew as it hikes, repeats orders, sees that the orders
are understood, helps the individuals coordinate their actions
=> tends to be closer to the crew and more of a buddy with them than does the leader.
iii. Crew member: clears a ﬁre line around the ﬁre, cleans up after the ﬁre, and maintains trails
* THUS, THE CREW AT MANN GULCH IS AN ORGANISATION BY VIRTUE OF A ROLE
STRUCTURE OF A INTERLOCKING ROUTINES
early in the book, Maclean asks the question on “what the structure of a small outﬁt should be
when its business is to meet sudden danger and prevent disaster.” This question is timely because
the work of organisations is increasingly done in small temporary outﬁts in which the stakes are
high and where foul-ups can have serious consequences. Thus, if we understand what happened
at Mann gulch we may be able to learn some valuable lessons in how to conceptualise and cope
with contemporary organisations.