ch09-scott-2003-OT - Sources of Structural Complexity The...

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1 Sources of Structural Complexity: The Technical Core I. Defining and measuring technology Technology as a general determinant of organizational structure Complexity or diversity Uncertainty or unpredictability Interdependence 1. The greater the technical complexity, the greater the structural complexity. 2. The greater the technical uncertainty, the less formalization and centralization of decision making. 3. The greater the technical interdependence, the more resources must be devoted to coordination (e.g., departmentalization).
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2 Sources of Structural Complexity: The Technical Core II. Technology and Structure: Rational System Views (1) Basic coordination mechanisms a. Rules and programs Rules and programs secure consistent and acceptable outcomes (e.g., forms, documents, procedural manuals) b. Schedules Schedules are necessary when different types of activities need to be carried on in the same location. c. Departmentalization Organizations group tasks so as to minimize coordinating costs. Organizations will place reciprocally related tasks in the same or closely adjacent units, sequentially related tasks in less closely adjacent units, and tasks exhibiting pooled interdependence in the least closely adjacent units.
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3 Sources of Structural Complexity: The Technical Core II. Technology and Structure: Rational System Views (1) Basic coordination mechanisms d. Hierarchy Higher level managers deal with unexpected and irregular occurrences on an exception basis, and lower level workers deal with more routinized regular tasks. Hierarchy is also a useful solution in that it is used to group tasks.
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