To help explain each of the four organizational forms, Mintzberg defines five basic organizational subunits.
|Subunit||Example positions from a manufacturing firm.|
|Strategic Apex||Board of Directors, Chief Executive Officer|
|Technostructure||Strategic Planning, Personnel Training, Operations Research, Systems Analysis and Design|
|Support Staff||Legal Counsel, Public Relations, Payroll, Mailroom Clerks, Cafeteria Workers|
|Middle Line||VP Operations, VP Marketing, Plant Managers Sales Managers|
|Operating Core||Purchasing Agents, Machine Operators, Assemblers, Sales Persons, Shippers|
Each of the four organizational forms in Mintzberg's scheme depend on fundamentally different mechanisms for coordination.
|Organizational Form||Coordination Mechanism|
|Machine Bureaucracy||Standardize procedures and outputs|
|Professional Organization||Standardize professional skills and norms|
|Entrepreneurial Startup||Direct supervision and control|
|Adhocracy||Mutual adjustment of ad-hoc teams|
And, in each particular form, different subunits tend to have greater influence.
|Machine Bureaucracy||Technocrats standardize procedures and outputs|
|Professional Organization||Professionals in the operating core (e.g. doctors, professors) rely on roles and skills learned from years of schooling and indoctrination to coordinate their work|
|Entrepreneurial Startup||Managers in the strategic apex directly supervise the work of subordinates.|
|Adhocracy||Teams of professionals from the operating core, support staff, and technostructure rely on informal "mutual adjustment" to coordinate their efforts. In administrative adhocracies, the low-level operations maybe totally automated.|
The Organizational Structure of the University
Selected Passages from
"Structure in Fives: Designing Effective
"The Strategy Process: Concepts, Contexts, Cases"
The Entrepreneurial Startup (the simple structure)
The simple structure is characterized, above all, by what is not elaborated. Typically, it has little or no technostructure, few support staffers, a loose division of labor, minimal differentiation among its units, and a small managerial hierarchy. Little of its behavior is formalized, and it makes minimal use of planning, training, and liaison devices.
The Machine Bureaucracy
A clear configuration of the design parameters has held up consistently in the research: highly specialized, routine operating tasks; very formalized procedures in the operating core; a proliferation of rules, regulations, and formalized communication throughout the organization; large-sized units at the operating level; reliance on the functional basis for grouping tasks; relatively centralized power for decision making; and an elaborate administrative structure with sharp distinctions between line and staff.
The Professional Bureaucracy
The professional bureaucracy relies for coordination on the standardization of skills and its associated design parameter, training and indoctrination. It hires duly trained and indoctrinated specialists -professionals- for the operating core, and then gives them considerable control over their work. Control over his own work means that the professional works relatively independently of his colleagues, but closely with the clients he serves. Most necessary coordination between the operating professionals is handled by the standardization of skills and knowledge - in effect, by what they have learned to expect from their colleagues.
The Adhocracy (the innovative organization)
In adhocracy, we have highly organic structure, with little formalization of behavior; job specialization based on formal training; a tendency to group the specialists in functional units for housekeeping purposes but to deploy them in small, market-based project teams to do their work; a reliance on liaison devices to encourage mutual adjustment, the key coordinating mechanism, within and between these teams.
The Operating Adhocracy
The operating adhocracy innovates and solves problems directly on behalf of its clients. Its multidisciplinary teams of experts often work under contract, as in the think-tank consulting firm, creative advertising agency, or manufacturer of engineering prototypes.
The Administrative Adhocracy
The second type of adhocracy also functions with project teams, but toward a different end. Whereas the operating adhocracy undertakes projects to serve its clients, the administrative adhocracy undertakes projects to serve itself, to bring new facilities or activities on line, as in the administrative structure of a highly automated company. And in sharp contrast to the operating adhocracy, the administrative adhocracy makes a clear distinction between its administrative component and its operating core. The core is truncated - cut right off from the rest of the organization - so that the administrative component that remains can be structured as an adhocracy.