Mintzberg's Five Types of Organization Structure

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Describe Mintzberg’s five types of organization structure. In the context of ‘scientific management’, why is Mintzberg’s contribution an important one?

Organizational structure can be defined as the sum total of the ways in which labour is divided into distinct activities and then is integrated to achieve the organization’s purpose, task or objectives. According Henry Mintzberg (1939) there are five basic parts of an organization; the Operating Core, Strategic Apex, Middle Line, Technostructure and Support Staff.

Mintzberg also proposed five types of organization structure. The Simple Structure typically has no Technostructure or Support Staff and a small middle line hierarchy. This structure is common amongst small and young organizations because they are still in the early stages or do not yet require bureaucratization. The Machine Bureaucracy forms a clear distinction between line and staff and is most commonly found in environments which are simple and stable. The Technostructure which comprises of analysts responsible for standardizing the work process is the most significant aspect of the structure. The Professional Bureaucracy can typically be seen in school systems and accounting firms, environments that are both complex and stable. Highly trained professionals are employed as part of the operating core and given a high degree of autonomy in their work. There is little need for a Technostructure due to the complexity of the work; however Support Staff is required to perform more basic and routine tasks. The Divisionalized Form describes a large structure which consists of smaller divisions within it. Finally, the Adhocracy is a team of individuals with varying specialities all working together as a single team to develop new solutions or trial new ideas. The structure is very simple, flexible and organic.

Scientific Management, often referred to as Taylorism, is a management theory which analyses and synthesises workflows in order to improve economic...