The term organization is most often defined as a system of consciously coordinated activities of two or more people. The organization is a social and business system.
In order for a group of two or more people with consciously coordinated activities to be called an organization, it must have at least one goal (ie a desired end state or outcome) that is accepted by the group members as common. In addition, it must be composed of two or more members working together with the intention of achieving a goal that is meaningful to all.
Every management organization must have appropriate leadership
Every management organization must have appropriate leadership in order to be able to achieve its goals through its management. Therefore, once a business unit has been created and actually exists, the next most important issue is to skillfully select its management.
The financial result of the company, the occupied market positions, as well as the achievement of all company goals, depending on the competencies and management methods of the management team.
Maintaining the right management structure is not an easy task. This is due to the diversity of types of management structures, the functions they perform, and the specifics of their implementation.
Let us consider in general what is a management structure, its theoretical formulation, and a real management structure in a real enterprise.
What is a management structure?
The need to consider the concept of management structure is determined by the fact that each business organization is managed by units that are interconnected in a management structure. “The management structure is a characteristic (property) of the system and represents” quantitative and qualitative determination in time and space of the set of structural units (parts), of the connections between them and of the order of these connections in a given system ”
Regardless of the nature and efficiency of its functioning, the management structure exists. Another issue is that in some organizations, the structure is strictly hierarchical and the relations are only “in command and subordination”, and in another, the structure is less hierarchical, and the relations are coordination, consulting, advising, and others.
However, these features do not change the statement that the management structure is an integral part of the management of organizational systems.
Every management system, regardless of the field to which it belongs, has its own organizational form of existence called management structure. Each such form is characterized by:
- number of elements in the system;
- the quality of these elements, in terms of their ability to perform their assigned functions;
- interaction between the elements in the course of their functioning;
- organizational separation of the separate groups of elements;
- the spatial mutual arrangement of the elements of the system.
In each system there is a constant exchange between the material elements, this exchange is the basis of the information exchange. This exchange is essentially a form of existence and functioning of the system.
The internal basis on which the functioning of the system is based in the structure of the system. In turn, functioning and structure are interrelated and interdependent. The structure ensures the functioning of the system, and the functioning itself is a condition for the development and improvement of the structure.
Each management system consists of management units and connections between them
Management units consist of individual cells or groups of cells that are in separate vertical and horizontal relationships with other cells or groups of cells.
Each such unit has clearly defined management functions. Of course, it is possible for one unit to perform several functions or for one function to be performed by several units.
This depends on a number of factors such as the degree of division of labor, the volume of management work, the qualifications of subordinates, and others. Each control system has a hierarchical structure, the distinctive feature of which is the division of units into separate levels of government.
Thus, by the level of management, we mean a set of management units that have the same place in the hierarchical structure of the management structure.
Levels of management include different units and functions and thus reflect the degree of concentration of management processes at a given level.
Thus, the management structure can be defined as a form of division of labor in the process of functioning of the system and is expressed in the formal and informal relations and relations between the levels and units of management in their unity and subordination.
This statement corresponds to the totality of the management and administration of the business organization and not to the organization itself.
Types of management structures
Given that management structures are characterized by their great diversity in the science of management, it is common to talk about types of management structures. The most common types of management structures so far are patriarchal, linear, functional, organizational / linear-functional /, committee, matrix, and program-target.
The patriarchal management structure is the simplest and oldest, characterized by the direct subordination of several executors to one chief. In such cases, the chief decides all management issues.
This type of structure in its own form is almost non-existent but is applied only in the lowest units of the hierarchy – brigade, service, military unit, and others.
The use of this structure is possible only in:
- simple activities where there are not many subordinates. Moreover – the number of subordinates should not exceed 7. This is practically and theoretically proven.
- with the wide intellectual capabilities of the leader.
The patriarchal management structure in civil practice is used in repair groups and grassroots production units such as sections, brigades, and others. In the unit, it is still used in the military department, crew, calculation of military equipment.
The relations in this type of management structure are “in command and subordination” and are characterized by clarity, lack of intersection of orders and directives. It works reliably and automatically. For clearly defined purposes of the individual units, it can be used in larger organizational units.
The linear management structure differs from the patriarchal one in that the number of management levels is greater than two, and can reach up to 7. Its type is shown in the diagram below.
The linear structure is distinguished by:
- confidence of subordinates that no one but the immediate superior can order;
- full responsibility for the results of the work;
- a full guarantee for the implementation of the principle of unanimity.
However, the linear structure also has a number of disadvantages:
- is not able to fully reflect the complexity of the organization and the differentiation of management functions;
- conditions are created for elements of bureaucracy;
- for the coordination between two levels, it is necessary to go through another;
- information circulates slowly;
- Each manager must be competent in many matters – social, financial, technical, organizational, etc. Reference: “Manager or Leader: What are the differences and similarities”, https://bvop.org/journal/manager-vs-leader/
This leads to difficulties in selecting such a chief, and on the other hand to limit the scale of the structure.
The functional structure historically originated after the linear one, but it still refers to the classical management structures. There were ideas for its application before 1900 in Taylor’s works. At the heart of this structure lies the differentiation of management functions, as a set of homogeneous activities.
In this management structure, in addition to the chief, there are various functional specialists, groups, or entire departments. In such a structure, each contractor reports simultaneously to several specialists on different functional issues. This leads to a violation of the principle of unity and creates depersonalization in the work. The species is shown below.
The advantage of this type of structure is that the management can be attracted highly qualified specialists who could competently perform specialized functions. This greatly simplifies the work of line managers. Taking into account the positive and negative characteristics, specialists never apply it in its pure form.
This has led to the creation of a new type of structure uniting the positive aspects of the linear and functional structures. In the unit, it is called “staff”, but it is also not used in its pure form, but only mixed with the divisional one.
The organizational management structure
The organizational structure can be considered the most frequently used. It is a set of organizational forms arranged in time and space with certain characteristics and organizational connections between them, systematized in a certain way, which function in accordance with a certain technology.
In this structure, control is performed in parallel by linear organs and functional organs.
The existence of such dual leadership requires a clarification of the order of subordination and responsibility. In this regard, the linear-functional structure can be divided into two main types:
- with centralized management;
- with limited functionalism.
The essence of the first type of organizational structure lies in the fact that the issuance of orders, instructions, and instructions on a functional line is carried out only through line managers.
In this case, the functional specialist is only an advisor and assistant to the respective line manager for his assigned function. Ie in this type of structure, the line manager receives recommendations from the functional specialist, and with or without corrections passes them on to the line managers below.
With such a construction of the organizational structure, the greatest unity of the management is achieved, without violating the division of labor in the governing body by individual functions. However, this significantly complicates the flow of information in the system. This leads to a decrease in the quality of management or causes the need to use technical means for the mechanization of information processing.
The other variant of the linear-functional structure is the one with limited functionalism. In this case, the functional specialists, services, or departments are given the right to give immediate instructions on a number of special issues to the lower functional units, bypassing their line superiors.
Program-target management structure
The organizational structure also has some shortcomings. Sometimes, for example, the functional units are unreasonably expanded, and the work of coordinating their work by the line manager becomes difficult. In this regard, there is a desire to improve this structure.
The fruit of the efforts in this direction is the so-called program-target management structure. In the formation of the management structure of this type, the aim is to find the optimal relationship between centralization and decentralization in management.
In this structure, it deviates from the principle of hierarchy, and all forces are directed towards the fulfillment of the ultimate goal. Here the emphasis is not so much on the improvement of the individual functions and units, but more on the improvement of the interaction of the individual management units and the integration of their activity.
Variants of this structure are the program and project structure, which are used to organize the implementation of labor-intensive programs and projects.
The matrix structure of management
The matrix management structure has been known since the late 1950s. In this type of structure, the contractor receives tasks from his/her direct manager, but within the scope of his/her duties, he/she can also be responsible to one or two project managers.
In this way, the line manager indicates how to perform a task, and the tasks themselves are set by project managers.
Project managers, in turn, can form their own groups by attracting specialists from functional departments from different levels of government.
As a result of the interaction between project managers and functional managers, new horizontal and diagonal connections are emerging. The links can be represented by a matrix, hence the name of this type of structure.
With this structure, the members of the design teams can stay in their functional departments, which is more painless.
The disadvantage of this type of structure is the multiple subordination, which hides risks of ambiguity in terms, the uncertainty of contractors and others.
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“Models for change management in projects and organizations”, https://securityinformationeventmanagement.com/models-change-management-projects-organizations/
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“Motivating the behavior of the manager”, https://agileprojectmanagement.home.blog/2021/07/10/motivating-the-behavior-of-the-manager/
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The management structure is a category that is directly and closely related to the functioning of the system. Not only the results of the outcome of the system depend on the type of management, but also the interpersonal relationships, the degree of motivation of the staff, the degree of connection of the personal goals with those of the enterprise, etc. In principle, the organizational structure and the management structure are the two things on which depends to a large extent whether the mechanism of functioning of an enterprise will be activated or not.
The types of management structures are diverse due to the fact that they are formed in a certain organization and for a certain purpose. As it became clear from the direct example with the enterprise from the construction branch, very often the management structure is a complex compilation of two or more management models, of two or more structures, smoothly passing into each other. At times, the qualities and characteristics of one of them stand out more, but in the next moment, we have a mixed management model again.
In this sense, it is not only possible but also necessary to systematically study and improve the management structure. In this way, you will understand and get acquainted with mechanisms in management practice that can be not only useful but also harmful to the organization. And this is one of the ways for the management structures to be consciously chosen and purposefully determined.