the formal system of task and job reporting relationships hat determines how employees use resources to achieve the organization's goals.
the process of making the specific choices about how to arrange the tasks and job relationships that comprise the organizational srtructure
an organization's structure needs to be designed to fit or match the set of contingencies--factors or conditions--that affect it the most and cause it the most uncertainty
Three important contingencies that factor into the design of organizational structure
1) the nature of the organization's environment
2) advances in technology (increasingly, information technology)
3) the characteristics of an organization's human resources
The more quickly the environment changes
the greater the uncertainty and the harder it is for an organization to access the resources it needs to function at a high level
In an uncertain environment
an organization is more likely to decentralize authority and empower lower level employees to make important operating decisions, allowing them to behave more quickly and flexibly to speed up the decision making and communication process to make it easier to obtain resources.
in a stable environment
resources are readily available and uncertainty is low. Managers will organize functional activities and design an organizational structure that results in employees behaving n a more formal and defined way
the combination of skills, knowledge, tools, machines, computers, and equipment used in the design, production, and distribution of goods and services
In general, the more complicated the technology an organization uses
the more difficult it is to regulate and control it. In contingency theory, a flexible structure would be needed to allow an organization to respond to unexpected situations and provide its employees the freedom to find solutions to problems they encounter.
Charles Perrow- Two factors determine how complicated or non routine technology is
task variety and task analyzability
the number of new or unexpected problems or situations that a person or functional group encounters while performing tasks or jobs
the degree to which programmed decisions and solutions are available to people or functional groups to solve the kind of problems they encounter