Organizational Structure Effects


As an organization continues to grow in size, it becomes a challenge for the owner to control effectively. Thus, it becomes necessary to involve groups such as employees to ensure that the organization is successful in its undertakings. Organizational design is meant to ensure that the combined efforts of all groups are successful. According to Ambrose and Schminke (2003), the organizational structure may be defined as how members of the organization relate (p.95). Good organizational relationships will help the organization to achieve its goal. In this process, managers collaborate with all other groups to develop systems that will help them to meet the goals and objectives of the organization successfully.

Organization design ensures that each employee can do his or her duty more effectively thus achieving the objectives of the whole organization. This involves the structure of the organization both vertically and horizontally. This organizational structure will always have significant effects on its members. Nirenberg (2011) indicates that the organizational structure may nurture the behaviors of its employees (p.9). The type of design a given organization is using will affect the behaviors of the members. This paper will, therefore, analyze the effects of different organizational designs to the behaviors of their members.

Behavioral effects

Organizational design shows an entrepreneur’s control over employees and all the other aspects of his or her business. The way this authority will be exercised will determine all the operations of the business/ organization and the behavior of people who are carrying out those operations. The type of design used in a given organization will determine how duties will be assigned and delegated among all the employees. The process of decision making in the organization will also depend on the design employed.

Another example of organization design is a systematic approach that cuts across different departmental boundaries. This type of structure requires many employees from different departments to work together to accomplish a common objective. For instance, this matrix approach is used when a company needs to develop a new product. In such cases, different departments such as research, engineering, design, and marketing have to work together for the successful development of a new product. Specialists from all these departments come together and consult each other as they accomplish a common goal. In this type of organizational design, employees from different departments and jobs come together to share their expertise which enables them to learn from each other.

Employees also have a greater opportunity to use their talents as they participate in different and diverse projects. For instance, when a motor company intends to develop a new type of motor vehicle, employees from differentiating departments such as design, engineering, and assembly among others, have to come together and share their expertise for them to come up with a new product.Each area is then divided into different hierarchies, which show how authority and responsibility are distributed. In this kind of structure, the behaviors of employees are affected in different ways. First, in this design, there is specialization between departments and jobs; for instance, marketing and finance.

Employees have to specialize in one given area only. If one is assigned work in marketing, he or she cannot move to another department but will remain in that specific department. This applies to all departments and jobs and therefore, employees have to specialize in one area only. Secondly, there are clear demarcations between different lines of operations that have to be followed in each job and department. Instructions come from the top of the hierarchy and then distribute to different departments where they are executed. These clear demarcations ensure there is no much interaction among employees of different departments. Its main advantage is that individual employees can specialize in a certain market or product, which avails invaluable experience.

Comparison of organizational structures

Different organizations use different structures depending on their nature and their objectives. As Tuan Mat, Smith, and Djajadikerta argue, the type of organizational structure has effects on its performance (2010, p.10). “The type of structure used will determine the performance and operation of an organization” (Tuat Mat, 2010, p.11).

Different designs have different results and some can be said to be better based on their effects on the employees’ behaviors. The type of organizational design used in a given organization will determine the role of individuals in an organization. Pre-bureaucratic design that is used in small organizations and decision-making processes is centralized and entrusted in the hands of one person. Even though the design is time-saving since no consultation is required, it denies employees the chance to contribute to making decisions. Central decision-making leaves other members of the system out of making decisions thus making it less democratic. Bureaucratic structure is more centralized and standardized compared to the pre-bureaucratic system. “In this structure, responsibilities, and roles of each individual are clearly defined and merit respect is observed” (Tuat Mat, 2010, p.11).

ConclusionThe structure works well in complex organizations such as government ministries. It may be too complex for its members since every action has to go through a long process of consultation, which may even delay the operations of the organization. Another organizational type of organization design that is more appropriate for companies with different lines of production is the divisional structure. Each department is given its responsibility as well as the resources required to accomplish a task. This type of structure enables members of the organization to specialize in different areas.

Matrix structure integrates both products and functions whereby, a task is designated to a group of employees from different fields that combine their skills and abilities to give the best possible results. Products and functions form the basis of operation in this structure. According to Le and Piercy (2008), a combination of the sales and marketing department will help to raise the sales volume of a company (p.9). Matrix structure is used in many organizations because of its ability to maximize the resources of the organization. All the skills and expertise from different departments are combined to produce the best product. However, it is not easy to coordinate individuals from different departments to work together.

Organizational structure always has a lot of impact on its members. How individuals will behave in an organization will depend on the design of the organization. Different organizational structures such as matrix structure, division structure, pre-bureaucratic, and bureaucratic structure among others affect their members in different ways. All these structures have both advantages and disadvantages and their use depends on the goal of the organization. However, matrix structure may be rated the best given its ability to combine products and functions to give the optimal results.


Ambrose, M. L., & Schminke, M. (2003). Organization structure as a moderator of the elationship between procedural justice, interactional justice perceiveorganizational support, and supervisory trust. Journal of applied Psychology, 88(2), 295-305.

Le, M., & Piercy, N. (2008). The importance of organizational structure for collaboration between sales and marketing. Journal of General Management, 34(1), 19-35.

Nirenberg, J. (2011). Workplace community: aligning organizational structure to a creative-intensive world. Interconnections, 6, 30-39.

Tuan Mat, T., Smith, M., & Djajadikerta, H. (2010). Management Accounting and Organizational Change: An Exploratory Study in Malaysian Manufacturing Firms. Journal of Applied Management Accounting Research, 8(2), 51-80.

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