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Organizational structure provides the framework of an organization and its pattern of

management. The purpose of structure is division of work and co-ordination of activities among
members, so that they can achieve objectives of the organization. The organizational structure
directly determines the formal command system and communication network, which not only
affect the flow of information and material and utilization efficiency, but also affect the
psychological and social functions inside the organization. Therefore, the appropriate
organization structure is very crucial to effectively reach goals of the organization. In the
following paragraphs, I will explain the vital impacts of technology and environment on the
creation of organizational structure.
An organisational structure is a construction which directs members through controlling,
coordinating and motivation to complete organizational goals. Horizontal division of labour is
related to specialization of the labour force. The vertical division of labour is associated with
controlling, monitoring, decision making and program of authority distribution.

An organization has different ways and styles to be structured, owing to different goals and
conditions. There are three opinions about which factor affects variation of organization structure
.The first argument in favour of environment condition, which is a very important constraint to
select an effective structure form. The remaining factors which are considered to influence
organizational structures are technology and size.
Technology mainly refers to the process from input to output within the organization. The level
of certainty on technical activities of the organization determines different management and
coordination requirements for the organizational structure. A high degree of certainty can
strengthen formalization and centralization of organizational structure. On the contrary, the
structure of organization in this circumstance needs to have greater flexibility.
Technology is a transformation process of mechanism to complete its tasks in an organization. A
crucial issue in technology is meeting an organizational customers' demand for output
customization. The speed of which products must be changed is related to this. When the demand
for product change or output customization is high, a stable organizational structure (for instance,
machine bureaucracy) is inappropriate for controlling the production process. In order to

efficiently fulfill needs of customization and change, an adaptive structure (for example, organic)
is more effective and advisable. For instance, in the Microsoft, the development of new
technology and product is a major mission in the fierce market competition. To achieve the goal,
employees and departments need to pay more attention to market demand and other competitors.
Therefore, flexible structure is essential to take effective measures in terms of environmental
If outputs are standardized, product life-cycles are long, and consumer exceptions are few, more
bureaucratic or mechanistic structures will be suitable. It is likely that organizations which are
faced with high demands for output customization or change pay higher attention to effective
problem solving, while organizations with relatively stable transformation technologies focus
more on the efficient performance. As the work in organizations with routine technologies is
standardized, employees are likely to be required less training and education. Employees in
organization with non-routine technologies need professional training and relevant work
experience. Compared to a worker in the assembly line, a costume designer may be required
more professional knowledge and skill training.
Span of control refers to the number of subordinates supervised by a manager or a supervisor.
Span of control is also different in organizations with different types of technology. The more
complex the technology, the more that the requirement of a supervisor for problem solving.
However, it relies on professional employees in an organization with non-routine technologies.
Professional staffs have expert knowledge and personal experience that can perform well without
close supervision, so the span of control can be larger. The span of control in organizations with
non-routine technologies is smaller than that in organizations with routine technologies.
Centralization of decision making is also a character of organizations with routine technologies.
Moreover, coordination and control are contained within a centralized management structure.
The organization's task is usually in the form of memos, reports and procedures when it is
analyzable and the communication is frequent. On the contrary, if the task is less analyzable,
information is conveyed by interpersonal communication, for instance, telephone conversation
and group meetings. The scope of decision making authority is extended in organizations with
non-routine technologies, so are coordination and control activities.

Based on the relationship between technology and organizational structure, we can predict that
which organizational structure is appropriate for which form of technology. For instance,
machine bureaucracies should only be applied to routine technologies. Organic structure is
adequate for other kinds of technologies, even though it may work best with non-routine
There is a technological determinism which argues that technology is the primary force to
determine jobs, attitudes, behaviours and organizational structures. Joan Woodward, James
Thompson and Charles Perrow are the representative figures in this school.
Joan Woodward found that an organization structure was related to its performance through
technology. She believed that it was the complexity of technology determined which structure to
be used. Woodward discovered that as the technology became more complex, the length of the
chain demand would increase, so did the proportion of managers in total employment. With the
increasing complexity of technology, the management personnel's span of control enlarged.

James Thompson argues that organizational structures are determined by the type of
coordination, which is indicated by interdependence between individuals, groups and divisions.
Different kinds of technology create different types of interdependence, so technology indirectly
influences the organization structure. It is the pooled task interdependence when the
contributions made by individuals and departments are separate and independent. In such a case,
it is easy to evaluate the performance of each group member or division, so a bureaucratic
organization structure with low coordination costs is adapted. Long-linked technology is a
technology that requires a series of tasks to be performed in a predetermined order. One division
or an individual cannot perform until the former has completed their tasks. It is sequential task
interdependence when the performance of a team member or a department is difficult to be
evaluated, so different divisions need to achieve a consensus through coordination and
integration. For instance, in the flow process of fruit juice production, fruit juice has to be
processed before it can be packaged.
External environment factors, trends and developments lead to change in internal organisation
structure, processes and behaviours. As the external environment is becoming more and more

complex, organizations have to adapt to the changes. The strategies an organization uses to
manage its environment are reflected in the structure of the organization. Organisational structure
is not static, it will change as the times progress and variation of surroundings. For example, in
2004, Motorola announced reorganization in the framework of company, because the first deficit
in the last three years occurred. Motorola attributed the losses to lower demand for highpoint
mobile phones and continuous decline of market prices. There were only two business
departments in the firm after reorganization: research and development department and
marketing department.
Organic structure and mechanistic are two patterns of organizational structure that can be created
by environmental conditions. An organic structure is suitable for a company operated in a
turbulent environment, while the organization with stable surroundings should employ the
mechanistic structure. As these two structures are appropriate for different environment, so it is
difficult to judge which one is more efficient.
To some extent, the success of an organization's operation depends on its responds to
environmental conditions. Environmental variability is the main element which is taken into
consideration of decision makers. It refers to the degree of change in environmental activities
relating to the operation of organizations. Mintzberg classified environmental elements which are
related to organizational framework into four areas, including stability, complexity, market
diversity, and hostility.
Differentiation is the process of dividing an organization into different departments and each of
them is responsible for different types of tasks. As differentiation allows employees to make
more efficient response to the environment, many organizations increase their differentiation
when their environment becomes more uncertain. However, excessive differentiation of
departments may lead to difficulties in co-operation and aggravation of conflicts. In order to
prevent this from happening, organizations must strengthen co-ordination between different
departments. It is the reason why the environment determinists believe that the level of
environment uncertain determined the organization structure.
Duncan produced the typology of organizational environments, which is different from the
viewpoint that external environments determine internal structures. He argues that organizational
reaction made to the environmental changes depends on the managers' perception rather than

objective observer's classification. If a manager have not realised that the environment is
changing, he will not give a corresponding response. The internal structures and processes will
transform with changes in our perception. Since different managers focus on different aspects of
the environment, they get different information and make different decisions about
organizational strategy and structure.

Centralized organizational structures rely on one individual to make decisions and provide
direction for the company. Small businesses often use this structure since the owner is
responsible for the companys business operations.
Centralized organizations can be extremely efficient regarding business decisions. Business
owners typically develop the companys mission and vision, and set objectives for managers and
employees to follow when achieving these goals.

In conclusion, the selection of organizational structure depends largely on the technology and
environment it faces. Even though a lot of modern theorists of technology do not consider that
technological determinism is an accurate concept to express the relationship between
organization structure and technological improvements, it makes a significant contribution to
development of organizational theory. Organizational structure plays an important role in the
operation of organizations and development of organizational behaviour. The study of
organization structure can help us learn how to establish efficient and functional form of