Organizational Design. Schematic view

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Presentation (By: Carlos Jimenez)

* The Fundamentals of Organizational Structure

* Vision of Stephen Robbins

* Conceptual Models

* Bibliography consulted and cited


The Administration, in its technical accession, is the organization and direction of human and material resources to achieve its aims, both in the public and the private sector, by using a set of processes.

But for this Administration to achieve its objectives requires an organizational structure that meets all expectations necessary balance where man is identified as a person and not as a common individual. We assume here that the identity of “person” is one adheres to a hierarchy of values, unifying attitude in all its freedom, to respond to a unique vocation where manipulation and exploitation are replaced by the recognition of skills.

About the fundamentals that determine the organizational structure so as to achieve levels of efficiency and effectiveness, satisfactory in a certain group of individuals gathered around a common purpose, we delve into these lines.

In 1913, Werner Sombart published a study on the contribution that the men of the middle class contributed to the spiritual history of modern economic man. In this study Sombart claimed that for every entrepreneur could succeed was to have three facets:

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The organization is conducting a far-reaching plan whose execution requires the collaboration of several people standing under the sign of a unitary will. And in that atmosphere of camaraderie and unity of minds the figure of “the conqueror” is defined by the ability to make plans, with a clear view of what is being done in order to be able to risk, boldness and vigor spiritual, with which confront patterned targets. “Being organizer” is presented with the ability to have men and things for specific tasks, having the ability to judge people in view of their performance. And “be negotiating” keeps the dialogue as a tool of conquest in the task manager and salesman be ideas, not to mention the strategy of persuasion to establish equilibrium parameters required by your organization to survive.

But man does not seek only organized, your goal is spiced with a desire to realize their role where effort, either with a highly profitable organization or an ideal organization to pursue a satisfactory return. Everything is on offer to the social dynamics relationships put certain people.

Now if we dig the new views of the experts in organizational behavior, appreciate a more concrete definition plane that action-man experiences desire to want to form a common community of interest. The organization is understood, in this new search for theoretical, as a system of coordinated activities or forces aware of two or more people to specific purposes. Kreitner and Kinicki According, here we distinguish four determinants denominators: coordination of efforts, common objectives, division of labor and hierarchy of authority. “Coordination of efforts is achieved through the formulation and enforcement of policies, rules and regulations. Division of labor occurs when people perform different tasks, but related, seek a common goal. Hierarchy of authority, also known and chain of command, control is a mechanism designed to ensure that they are more appropriate people to do what they have to do at all times. “(Kreitner / Kinicki, 1996:535)

Because of these denominators define the organization as a structure, as appropriate to create the framework for shaping the administrative unit and create practical units running performance based actions to meet scientific and technical needs of the unit.



Stephen Robbins in turn tells us that the organization considered Organizational Structure, defines “how to fall, how to form groups, and how to coordinate tasks in formal jobs.” Now, it is therefore essential that the organizational structure is worth six elements:

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These six elements allow to plan how to dispose of human and material resources within the organizational structure. Thus, based on the idea of forming a company or industry (or plans to reorganize an already constituted), is considered: the DIVISION OF LABOR, which is the degree to which tasks are subdivided in posts separated within the organization, departmentalization, which is organizing the workforce because of the function, task, product, customer, among others, of an organization’s chain of command, which is the continuous line of authority that extends from the top of the organization to the lower end, the span of control, which is subordinate to a chief can effectively and efficiently manage (ability to choose the right goals and interest in directing attention to the internal aspects of the organization , in order to ensure optimal use of available resources), the centralization and decentralization, that as the degree of decision-making concentrated at a single point in the organization, as this decision making delegated to employees lowest level. And formalization as the degree to which jobs within an organization are standardized.

In a more common appreciate the “specialization of labor” is nothing more than being able to define what each person within the organization, placing it at the level indicated and under the supervision indicated, in order to feel identified with their work. The “departmentalization” is the segmentation of the activities of the company depending on which functions the same specialization of labor to define. What is sought with the departmentalization is to create small structures that have greater flexibility of action yield satisfactory answers. Meanwhile the “chain of command” sequence appears as a head higher than making general guidelines for the operation of the organization. This sequence is important because it allows splice the objectives of the organization with the scope of production, involving each member and compromising it with pre-established performance goals. As for the “concentration and decentralization,” we are faced with two styles of managing decisions, first broadcast in which a single cadre and secondly, those due to delegate responsibility criteria, where officials have means some leeway in the process objectives. The “formalization”, looking from the perspective of rigid criteria of leadership, understood as the prevalence of fixed rules on the charges of an organization. This makes the employee becomes subject to a minimum requirement of capacity and maintain a proactive labor apparent inertia that prevents you alternatives that could improve productivity and conditions of service of a company.

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By Design means the description and classification of social units as its aims and objectives, the organization for its part, although we have made important theoretical insights overt about it, are consciously coordinated social units due to pre-established goals, and one comprencion of the actual conditions of their environment, work continuously to meet their expectations of strengthening and development.

Because of this organizational designs define as the description and classification of units of an organization, due to the functions, command lines, departments, regulatory and management styles of decision-making, in order to provide answers to historical situations concrete.

These concrete historical situations are seen in an overall context, based on two specific models:

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The mechanic is characterized by simple structures, with a degree of departmentalization redial, where prevail spans of control, centralized authority and little formalization. Here takes value simplicity, allowing a flexible, inexpensive and clear definition of responsibilities. As an attempt to modernize this model was imposed in the early twentieth century, highly operationalize criteria work routines by way of specialization and the implementation of rules that conditioned the organization to functional departments with centralized authority, deriving short lengths of control and decision-making according to the chain of command. This attempt at redefinition is known as one of the Bureaucracy and thinkers who shaped it was Max Weber. Weber’s theory are four factors that make bureaucracy the epitome of efficiency: 1. – Division of labor, 2. – Hierarchy of authority; 3.-Regulatory Framework, and 4. – Administrative interpersonality. In the first three already discussed, the latter would be worth adding that it is the personnel decisions, including hiring and promotion, based on competition and merit and not on favoritism and influence peddling demagoguery. However, this model has lost prestige by the fact that such practice has exaggerated its use, making difunctional in most of their performances.

At the same time development of the bureaucratic model was developed the escructura matrix (matrix) which is created due to double lines of authority, combining functional departmentalization with the product.

After the fifties there was a new vision of the organization, which is characterized by the organization without borders, the use of cross-functional teams and transgerarquizados, with a minimum degree of formalization that extends the information network. It is what is known as organic models, cattle at all times the value of the internalization of the structure with the idea of improving productivity levels and enable human interest involve in decision-making.

According to Peter Drucker (The Great Disruption, 1970), “the modern organization must be subject to change. Actually, you should be able to initiate change, or innovation. Should be able to move scarce and expensive resources of knowledge, activities low productivity and without completion results and contribution opportunities. Organization is a realization mechanism Maximum and modern organization is our instrument to maximize the unique human resource: knowledge. This requires, however, the ability to stop do what wasted resources rather than increase them to the maximum. ”

Reflecting the spirit of some of these arguments, following the eighties began to take shape organizational movement great preponderance, which sought to interpret new directional options to where high productivity firms were focusing their attention. Thus appears the team structure, the virtual organization, the organization without borders and the women’s organization.

The team structure breaks down barriers, says Robbins (1996), departmental and decentralized decision-making at the level of the team. The team structures also require employees to be generalists and specialists. Virtual organization for its part, is an extremely small structure that hires most of its business functions. In structural terms, the virtual organization is highly centralized, with little or no departmentalization.

The boundaryless organization was coined by Jack Welch, chairman of the Board of General Electri, this new organizational vision must be understood as the breaking of walls and glasses that trap people inhibit their creativity, wasted time, limited vision and choke dreams and, above all things slow. This approach seeks to eliminate organizations in the chain of command (it has limited control sections) and replace departments with computers that have given you authority to make decisions due to the interest of the goals of the organization and due to the balance of human relations work consonant with fairness and respect for the ideas.

The use of one model or another by the men who are responsible for organizational design, not only due to the conditions to which organizations are exposed. If after careful study it is determined that a company’s weaknesses stem from the lack of a management approach that gives more dynamism and participation of employees, it is clear that the organization will be chosen without borders, or failing to provide the other conditions necessary to cabin flexibility for creativity and participation of workers. So you can enumerate many cases, but what should be noted is the principle of “conform because of the requirements and needs of the organization,” not from a standpoint of pure profitability targets, but from the point of view of the modernization of the structures that make papers valid levels of efficiency and effectiveness towards a totality of interest.

Just as in the case of mechanical and organic models, which according to the strategy, size, technology and environment, define their use, new trends in this reference there to consciously take a clearer view about the organizational structure. The strategy uses options innovation, imitation and cost minimization. The size of the organization determines the scope of the model, as an organization could not take extremely large models which are based on direct communication between all links of the chain (perhaps an attempt could be made), because the matter would become endless interventions and rethinking of objectives. Finally, the size tells us what we can and what we can stick count when designing an organizational model.

Meanwhile technology gives us the perception of the type of progress of our organization, just as we can locate it in the criteria row of high, medium or low production, the mechanisms of synthesis process which uses . And the atmosphere appears as a reflection of institutions or forces outside the organization that can affect the performance of it, but once detected effectively allow us to streamline the processes of change. The atmosphere is presented in three key dimensions: the capacity, which refers to the degree to which it can support growth, the votalidad, the degree of instability of the organization and complexity, the degree of heterogeneity and concentration among the elements environmental.

To understand the reality of our time is necessary to know how much we have changed in relation to the generations that late nineteenth century, built the foundations of modern industrial society. Hebert Marcuse, German philosopher, said, in his classic “One Dimensional Man”, that man every day is identified more with the fighter plane to build a humane society in the midst of another that stands as consumerism and values of a dementia greater concern for the “have” that “being”.

New organizations are based on this principle Marcusian to identify its inescapable relationship with men, since in the strategic have realized that those whose clients are men and therefore must sell the idea that “what they do men is for men. ”

To streamline the organizations is necessary to use quality criteria. To the extent that they offer good service and good products, standardized a fortification of the objectives and open the possibilities not only of progress and development, but refinement of labor relations, which ultimately affect relationship in a better position between the components of the system.

From nothing worth knowing these ideal theoretical models that shape the behavior of organizations, but we are committed to carrying the message and to assume, in the biological structure that is our body, it is time for change and that the only valid renewal is to integrate with equity, productivity and efficiency in the service of man and machine: “You are what you are, not machine.” (Chaplin)

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Literature consulted and cited

* Bennis, Warren and Burt Nanus. Leaders. The four keys to effective leadership. Bogot, Editorial Norma, 1985.

* GORDON R., Judith Organizational Behavior. Mexico, Publisher Prentice-Hall, 1997.

* DRUCKER, Peter. The Great Disruption. New Goals for a New Society. Mexico, Oak Publishing, 1970.

* ELKINS, Arthur. Administration and Management. Structures, Functions and Practices. Mexico, American Educational Fund, S. A., 1980.

* Kreiter, and Angelo Kinicki Roobert. Organizational Behavior. Madrid, Third Edition, Madrid, Editorial IRWIN, 1996.

* LEWIS, Mike and Graham Kelly. Administrative efficiency. 20 activities to achieve them. Bogot, Editorial Norma, 1986.

* Robbins, Stephen P. Organizational Behavior. Theory and Practice. Mexico, Seventh Edition, Publisher Prentice-Hall, 1996.

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