The structure of any organization has a clear impact on both employee behavior and its performance. On the other hand, an organizational structure provides an overview about the hierarchy of levels, roles and responsibilities, authorities, communication channels, etc. It is of utmost importance to understand the definition of the organizational structure since it affects both employee behavior and organizational performance. Organizational structure is understood as a method consisting of responsibilities and power allocated amongst members and how work procedures are carried out among them. It also includes the layers of hierarchy, centralization of authority, and horizontal integration. However, an organizational structure is a multi-dimensional construct which illustrates the division of work (roles or responsibilities including specification), departmentalization, centralization, complexity, communication or coordination mechanisms including standardization, formalization and flexibility. An important type of organizational structure can be identified as mechanistic organizational structure.
Mechanistic organizational structure is hierarchical and bureaucratic by nature. It’s structure, processes and roles are considered as a machine where each part of the organization does what it is intended to do. Three main features could be identified. Namely highly centralized authority, formalized procedures and practices & specialized functions. Thus, a mechanistic organizational structure has a clear, well-defined, centralized, vertical hierarchy of command, authority, and control. It achieves efficiency and predictability through specialization, standardization, and formalization. Rigidly defined jobs, technologies, and processes are outcomes of such mechanical organizational structure. Mechanistic structure aims to achieve efficiency thorough tight control.
Characteristics for mechanistic organizational structure are listed below:
- Stable environment: This organizational structure works best when the environment is relatively stable.