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Chapter 14


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University of Ottawa

Chapter 14I What Is Organizational StructureOrganizational structure is the manner in which an organization divides its labour into specific tasks and achieves coordination among these tasks It broadly refers to how the organizations individuals and groups are put together or organized to accomplish work Organizational structure intervenes between goals and organizational accomplishments and thus influences organizational effectiveness Structure affects how effectively and efficiently group effort is coordinated To achieve its goals an organization has to divide labour among its members and then coordinate what has been divided II The Division and Coordination of LabourLabour has to be divided because individuals have physical and intellectual limitations There are two basic dimensions to the division of labour a vertical dimension and a horizontal dimension Once labour is divided it must be coordinated to achieve organizational effectiveness A Vertical Division of Labour The vertical division of labour is concerned primarily with apportioning authority for planning and decision making A couple of key themes or issues underlie the vertical division of labour Autonomy and Control The domain of decision making and authority is reduced as the number of levels in the hierarchy increases A flatter hierarchy pushes authority lower and involves people further down the hierarchy in more decisions Communication As labour is progressively divided vertically timely communication and coordination can become harder to achieve As the number of levels in the hierarchy increases filtering is more likely to occur B Horizontal Division of Labour The horizontal division of labour involves grouping the basic tasks that must be performed into jobs and then into departments so that the organization can achieve its goals Just as organizations differ in the extent to which they divide labour vertically they also differ in the extent of horizontal division of labour A couple of key themes or issues underlie the horizontal division of labour Job Design Job design is an important component in the horizontal division of labour The horizontal division of labour strongly affects job design and it has profound implications for the degree of coordination necessary It also has implications for the vertical division of labour and where control over work processes should logically reside Differentiation Differentiation is the tendency for managers in separate functions or departments to differ in terms of goals time spans and interpersonal styles As organizations engage in increased horizontal division of labour they usually become more and more differentiated
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