Organisation Structure

The process of organisation culminates into an organisation structure which constitutes a network of job positions and the authority relationships among the various positions.The various factors that are usually taken into consideration for designing a good organisation structure are job specifications, departmentation, authority-responsibility relationships, etc.

The whole structure takes the shape of a pyramid and broadly indicates the tasks assigned, the hierarchical relationships and the patterns of communication and coordination. Based on the arrangement of activities, two most commonly used forms of organisation structure are:

  1. Functional structure
  2. Divisional structure

1. Functional Structure

An organisation structure formed by grouping together all activities into functional departments and putting each department under one coordinating head is called functional structure. Thus, in any industrial enterprise the functions like manufacturing, marketing, finance, personnel may constitute the major separate units (departments) of the enterprise; and in case of a large retail store purchasing, sales and warehousing may be the major units.

The major units use are further divided into sub-units. For example, the manufacturing department may be sub-divided into stores, repairs, maintenance, production, etc.

This form of organisation structure helps in developing functional specialisation in each unit duly headed by an expert in that functional area. This facilitates the coordination within the department since all are fully familiar with the various activities involved. However, this type of structure is considered suitable for small and medium size organisations. In case of large organisations, the units become too unwieldy and difficult to manage.

2. Divisional Structure

In large organisations dealing in multiple products and serving a number of distinctive markets, the divisional structure is considered more suitable. Under such structure the organisation is divided into units entrusted with all activities related to different products on different territories (markets). Each divisional head is required to look after all functions related to the product or market territory.

Under divisional structure, most activities associated with a product or product group can be well coordinated and its profitability easily ascertained. Moreover, it provides opportunity to divisional managers to take prompt decisions and resolve all sorts of problems without much difficulty. However, this structure is expensive and gives rise to duplication of efforts.