Organizational Configurations Mintzberg

Posted in Human Resource Terms, Total Reads: 5690
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Definition: Organizational Configurations Mintzberg

Henry Mintzberg created five organizational configurations that act a framework to understand and design organizational structures. First of all, he stated that each configuration has 6 components:

  • Operating Core: The people directly involved in the production activities of products and/or services constitute the operating core.
  • The Strategic Apex: This caters to the needs of the people involved in controlling the organization.
  • Techno-structure: This essentially refers to the analysts who are involved in planning, designing and making amendments to the operating core.
  • Support Staff: The experts who support the organization outside the realms of the operating core activities.
  • Ideology: The unique traditions practiced by the organization and the existent beliefs constitute the Ideology.

Based on the importance of the components, coordinating mechanisms and design decisions (design of decision making, lateral linkages, superstructure and positions), five structural configurations were established:

  1. Simple Structure: The major coordinating mechanism used here is direct supervision. The key component of the organization in this case would be the strategic apex, and vertical and horizontal centralization is incorporated in this configuration.
  2. Machine bureaucracy: The coordinating mechanism here is standardization of work processes. The key component of the organization here would be the technostructure and limited horizontal decentralization is used.
  3. Professional bureaucracy:  Standardization of skills is the coordinating mechanism in this configuration. The operating core forms the key component and both vertical and horizontal decentralization is used.
  4. Divisionalized form: Standardization of outputs is the coordinating mechanism and the key component is the middle line. It is characterized by limited vertical decentralization.
  5. Adhocracy: Mutual adjustment is the coordinating mechanism in this configuration. The support staff (in an administrative adhocracy) or the operating core (in an operating adhocracy) forms the key component. Selective decentralization is used in this case.


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