Essay on Structural Configurations for Organizations

Published: 2022/01/11
Number of words: 921


Structural configurations of organizations have an influence on the management of organizations. Structures in these organizations ease performance of tasks. There should be a defined organization structure inclusive of all groups in an organization. This paper lay emphasis on structural configuration of organization, considers contributions from Henry Mitzenberg, Sally Helgesen as well as Max weber.

Mitzenberg Contribution

Henry Mitzenberg’s works on the structures of organizations has an influence on today’s management. In his own studies, the scholar emphasize on the importance of having sound organization structures. Flexible and feasible organization structures are small groupings with a clear mandate. These groups in organizations have a special purpose in handling and management of daily or even future activities. Organizing organization into a structure it is essential in the fulfillment of organizational goals and in handling internal and external challenges (Lam, 2011). In his studies, Henry Mitzenberg gives consideration on specific aspects as well as assumptions on organization’s structures. According to his research, there are six configurations, which any organizations need to have an interest on to having feasible structures.

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These six configuration include “simple structures’; these form of configuration is popular with entrepreneurs who do not run huge organization teams. The other configurations include professional bureaucracy, diversified design of configuration, machine bureaucracy and a recent addition, innovative configuration. At the apex of the scholar’s argument, there is literature on the organization of organization units, Henry Mitzenberg, considers an organization as a place where there are individuals of different backgrounds, level of authority and skills. On the other hand, he considers an organization as a venture, which undergoes different challenges on a daily basis (Lam, 2011). Therefore, a profitable organization need have structures to meet an organization’s needs and evade challenges of the environment. Managers in such organizations need to have skills in managing different tasks and groups of individuals.

The researcher proclaims that managers’ skills should be able to help organizations meet goals. Management of this structure revolves around diverse aspect, which means that organizations should handle internal, as well as external challenges (Gosling& Mintzberg, 2003). Management of such organizational structure not only provides solutions for present challenges but also provide solutions for future eventualities. In any case, organizations should prepare for any unforeseen problems, and that is when contingency plans work. Structures are crucial in managing formal roles as well as maximizing performance of workers (Mintzberg, 2000). With these in mind, Henry Mitzenberg provides a certain perspective to coordination of organizations.

He advocates for the following mechanism in attaining organizational efficiency; he insists on the value of supervision to evade chaos. The scholar argues that coordination of activities in organizations require mutual adjustment of teams, standardization of work, standardization of skills and standardization of organizational norms (Mintzberg, 2000). Henry Mitzenberg further illustrate that an organization structure should have certain configuration parts. According to him, the following parts make up an organization structure; the strategic level (top management), the middle line levels (middle management), the operational level, support staff and the ideological aspect, which encompass beliefs, culture values and norms.

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Contribution by other approaches

There are other scholars whose contributions on organizational structure worth mentioning. Sally Helgesen is one of such scholars. The scholar provides a “web on inclusion” as a basis for the management of organizations. The scholar provides an inclusive approach to the management of organization activities. She advocates that every individual in an organization need to contribute strategically to the management of organizations. Her approach is different from that of other scholars who advocate for a top down approach in the management of organizations. She advocates that every individual in organizations assist in the creation of their organization’s strategic plans (Helgesen, 2005). To illustrate her approach consider an organization having circular management structure.

In this structure, consider the middle point of it as the focal point. The focal point represents every individual in the organization completing the web. On the other hand, Max Weber is another scholar whose contributions are critical in the management of organizations. The German economist, whose approach changed organization management in the twentieth century, came up with “Monocratic bureaucracy” (Olsen, 2006). This approach contains the following important features; there is a fixed division of labor, separation of personal property rights from firms, the use of technical qualification and hierarchy of office structures. Their contributions as well as those of other scholars contribute to today’s management. Organization structures need to be all-inclusive; it should have a clear sense of purpose and defined structure. Managers need to consider the contribution of other workers, endeavor to develop skills of their workers to meet organizational challenges. Every organization needs to have a clear organizational structure easy to follow. Henry Mitzenberg contribution to the organization’s structure ignores the social aspects of individuals. His analysis further concentrates on standardization of aspects in an organization ignoring the fact that the environment changes.


Lam, A. (2011, April). Innovative organizations: structure, learning and adaptation. In Paper presented at the DIME Final Conference (Vol. 6, p. 8).

Mintzberg, H. (2000). The professional bureaucracy. Organization and governance in higher education, 50-70.

Gosling, J., & Mintzberg, H. (2003). The five minds of a manager. Harvard Business Review81(11), 54-63.

Helgesen, S. (2005). The web of inclusion: Architecture for building great organizations. Beard Books.

Olsen, J. P. (2006). Maybe it is time to rediscover bureaucracy. Journal of public administration research and theory16(1), 1-24.

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