The organizational configurations framework of Mintzberg is a model that describes six valid organizational configurations 1.

Mutual adjustment,which achieves coordination by the simple process of informal communication (as between two operating employees) 2. Direct supervision, is achieved by having one person issue orders or instructions to several others whose work interrelates (as when a boss tells others what is to be done, one step at a time) 3. Standardization of work processes, which achieves coordination by specifying the work processes of people carrying out interrelated tasks (those standards usually being developed in the technostructure to be carried out in the operating core, as in the case of the work instructions that come out of time-and-motion studies) . Standardization of outputs, which achieves coordination by specifying the results of different work (again usually developed in the technostructure, as in a financial plan that specifies subunit performance targets or specifications that outline the dimensions of a product to be produced) !. Standardization of skills (as well as knowledge), in which different work is coordinated by virtue of the related training the workers have received (as in medical specialists - say a surgeon and an anesthetist in an operating room " responding almost automatically to each other#s standardi$ed procedures) %. Standardization of norms, in which it is the norms infusing the work that are controlled, usually for the entire organi$ation, so that everyone functions according to the same set of beliefs (as in a religious order) According to the organizational configurations model of Mintzberg each organization can consist of a maximum of six basic parts& 1. 2. 3. . !. %. 'trategic (pe) (top management) *iddle +ine (middle management) ,perating -ore (operations, operational processes) .echnostructure (analysts that design systems, processes, etc) 'upport 'taff (support outside of operating workflow) /deology (halo of beliefs and traditions0 norms, values, culture)

http&11www.provenmodels.com1221five-configurations1mint$berg .heory on ,rgani$ational 2orms


.he -anadian academic, 3enry *int$berg, synthesised organisational design literature into five ideal organisational forms or configurations that do not e)ist in the real world, but provide consultants and managers a framework to understand and design organisational structures. *int$berg defined organisational structure as 4the sum total of the ways in which it divides its labour into distinct tasks and then achieves coordination among them4. 5ach configuration contains si) components& - operating core& the people directly related to the production of services or products0 - strategic ape)& serves the needs of those people who control the organisation0 - middle line& the managers who connect the strategic ape) with the operating core0 - technostructure& the analysts who design, plan, change or train the operating core0 - support staff& the specialists who provide support to the organisation outside of the operating core6s activities0 - ideology& the traditions and beliefs that make the organisation uni7ue. .he components are linked by four flows& - authority0 - work material0 - information0 - decision processes. .he organisation6s structure depends on the organisation itself, its members, the distribution of power, the environment and the technical system. 8esign decisions can be grouped into the& - design of positions0 - design of superstructure0 - design of lateral linkages0 - design of decision making system. 9ork constellations are 7uasi-independent cli7ues of individuals who work on decisions appropriate to their level in the hierarchy. .hese groups range from the formal to the informal. *int$berg used the components, flows, work constellations and coordination mechanisms to define five configurations&

1. 'imple 'tructure 5ntrepreneurial setting& relies on direct supervision from the strategic ape), the -5,. ( young company before its entrepreneurial founder has had to let go of some of the

strings. 'uch organisations are often autocratic and, as *int$berg put it, vulnerable to a single heart attack.

2. *achine :ureaucracy +arge organisations& relies on standardisation of work processes by the technostructure. ( company with many layers of management and a mass of formal procedures 3. ;rofessional :ureaucracy .he professional services firm& relies on the professionals6 standardisation of skills and knowledge in the operating core. (n organisation that is cemented together by some sort of professional e)pertise, such as a hospital or a consultancy. .his is usually the most democratic type of organisation, partly because it is often set up as a partnership. . 8ivisionalised 2orm *ulti-divisional organisation& relies on standardisation of outputs0 middle-line managers run independent divisions. ( structure where there is little central authority, but whatever there is is clearly defined. /t is the form most fre7uently found among modern multinationals !. (dhocracy ;ro<ect organisations& highly organic structure with little formali$ation0 relies on mutual ad<ustment as the key coordinating mechanism within and between these pro<ect teams. .he type of organisation fre7uently found in the computer world, full of fle)ible teams working on specific pro<ects. /t is also the structure found in 3ollywood and, said *int$berg, it is the structure of the future.

/n later work *int$berg added two more configurations& %. *issionary 2orm -oordination occurs based on commonly held ideologies or beliefs& standardisation of norms. =. ;olitical 2orm >o coordination form is dominant& control is based on forming alliances. 5ach configuration represents a force that pulls organisations in different structural directions. 2or e)ample, operators want to professionali$e in their drive to control their work. .herefore, they favour a professional bureaucracy based on the standardisation of skills. .he structure an organisation chooses depends, to a great e)tent, on the power of each of *in$berg6s si) components.

pros: .he model provides a framework to analyse organisational structures in relation to the ideal types. /t hands the consultant tools to design organisations, but the configurations should not be used as a blue print. .he model helps us understand how organisations change over time, how powers shift and how all this affects their structures. *in$berg6s classification is based on the assumption that formal and informal structures are intertwined and often indistinguishable from one other. 2ormal structures evolve over time and formalise changes in the informal structure. .he model provides an important synthesis of structural contingency literature cons: .he model does not provide operational guidance for organisational (re)design activities since it lacks a normative framework. .he model depends on contingency factors that influence structure. -ontingency theory faces a variety of methodological problems& e.g. how possible it is to single out one factor from the comple)ities of reality and how these factors influence one another. .he model used an outside - inside process. .he environment determines the organisation as if the organisation itself does not have the ability to make decisions. *ost organisations operate in dynamic and comple) environments thus limiting the relevance of the model. references&
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