Large Firms Typically Use a Variety of Structures to Manage Their Organisations. Summarise the Advantages and Disadvantages of Four Types of Organisation Structure Using Relevant Examples to Illustrate Your Answer.

Topics: Organizational structure, Organization, Organizational studies Pages: 4 (1369 words) Published: May 13, 2011
In this essay I will analyse four types of organisation structure regarding large firms as examples in order to highlight the main advantages and disadvantages that this structures have among the firms. I will also show which structure is best suited for each firm while analysing the main characteristics of each of the corporations. The idea of an organisational structure involves all the ways in which an organisation splits into different tasks its labour and finally achieves coordination among them. (Mintzberg, 1979, cited in Boddy, 2005, p.307) Whereas the structure in an organisation is very important, so is the size. Within larger organisations there is a ‘greater need for a carefully designed and purposeful form of organisation’ (Mullins, 2008, p.385). According to Child (2005, p.6), ‘a basic structure distributes responsibilities among the members of a company. Its purpose is to contribute to the successful implementation of objectives by allocating people and resources to necessary tasks and designing responsibility and authority for their control and coordination’. The organisation’s structure is strongly related to its culture, as Watson (2006, p.252-262) argues, ‘many of the processes and practices we observe in an organisation could as readily be said to be part of the structure of the organisation as part of its culture’ (cited in Mullins, 2008, p.385). Denison (1990) defines organisational culture as

‘The underlying values, beliefs, and principles that serve as a foundation for an organization’s management system as well as the set of management practices and behaviours that both exemplify and reinforce those basic principles’ (cited in Martin, 2002).

Within an organisation there are several structures, each of which has its strengths and weaknesses. A functional structure (see diagram below) is represented by the managers and subordinates that have ‘closely related skills and responsibilities’ and that work in the same...

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