Structure in 5’s

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MANAGEMENT SCIENCE Vol. 26. No. 3. March 1980

Primed m U.S.A.


HENRY MINTZBERGt The elements of organizational structuiing-^which show a curious tendency to appear in

five's-suggest a typology of five basic configurations: Simple Structure, Machine Bureau- cracy, Professional Bureaucracy, Divisionalized Form, and Adhocracy.

The elements include (1) five basic parts of the organization-the operating core, strategic apex, middle Une, technostnicture, and support staff; (2) five basic mechanisms of coor- dination-mutual adjustment, direct supervision, and the standardization of woilc processes, outputs, and skills; (3) the design parameters-job specialization, behavior fonnalization, training and indoctrination, unit grouping, unit size, action fdanning and performance control systems, liaison devices (such as integrating managers, teams, ta^ fcn-ces, and matrix structure), vertical decentralization (delegation to line managersX and horizontal decentraliza- tion (power sharing by nonmanagers); and (4) the contingency factors-age and size, technical system, environment, and power.

Each of the five co3afigiirations relies on one of the five coordinating mechanism and tends to favor one of the five parts. In Simple Structure, the key part is the strategic apex, which coordinates by direct supervision; the structure is minimally elaborated and highly centra- lized; it is associated with simple, dynamic environments and strong leaders, and tends to be found in smaller, younger organizations or those facing severe crises. The Machine Bureau- cracy coordinate primarily by the imposition of work standards from the technostnicture; jobs are highly specialized and formalized, units functional and very large (at the operating level), power centralized vertically at the strategic apex with limited horizontal decentraliza- tion to the technostnicture; this structure tends to be found in simple, stable environments, and is often associated with older, larger organizations, sometimes externally controlled, and mass production technical systems. The Profes»onal Bureaucracy relies on the standardiza-...