Mintzberg's Organizational Configurations

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Mintzberg's Organizational Configurations Ι - Financial services firms are known for having tight procedures and rigorous control systems. Staff in design agencies, on the other hand, can sometimes seem to operating as free agents. Big organizations merge to achieve "synergies", but they sometimes also split divisions out into separate, more agile companies. So why are these organizations so different? The reason for this variety is that an organization's structure can make a real difference to the way it performs. That's why some companies achieve success through strict controls and systems, but others that try to duplicate that structure may suffer terrible results. It's also why a start-up company has to evolve its structure over time as it grows, and as its strategy and its environment change. Successful organizations are those that have figured out the best way to integrate and coordinate key internal and external elements. And they understand the importance of reviewing and redesigning their structures on an ongoing basis. According to renowned management theorist Henry Mintzberg, an organization's structure emerges from the interplay of the organization's strategy, the environmental forces it experiences, and the organizational structure itself. When these fit together well, they combine to create organizations that can perform well. When they don't fit, then the organization is likely to experience severe problems. Different structures arise from the different characteristics of these organizations, and from the different forces that shape them (which Mintzberg calls the "basic pulls" on an organization). By understanding the organizational types that Mintzberg defines, you can think about whether your company's structure is well suited to its conditions. If it isn't, you can start to think about what you need to do to change things. ΙΙ-

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