An organisational structure is a working system followed in an organisation. It defines how day-to-day activities in an organisation will be performed and how the information will flow in the organisation.
An organisational structure is essential for an organization so that employees can do their work without any confusion and work can be continued in the absence of anyone. Because in an organization that does not follow the proper organisation structure, work comes to a halt in the absence of the person who controls everything.
The importance of organizational structure becomes vital in large organisations, where one person can’t supervise and control the work of all employees working in the organisation. In large organisations, a proper organisational structure is implemented to control employees working at different levels. In addition to this, the organisational structure also helps in ensuring the maximum productivity of employees.
An organisation structure determines how to work in the organisation, and divide it into different entities such as departments, workgroups, or branches. The distribution of work in separate entities makes it easy to track the progress of each body. There are different people, such as department heads or managers to control the activities of his department and to make sure the maximum productivity of his department.
Therefore, it becomes necessary for one to understand what is the organizational structure, how does it work, and what are different types of organizational structures. Click here to learn about organisational structures.
In this article, you will learn about the various characteristics of an organisational structure to understand an organization’s structure better.
Characteristics of Organizational Structure
1. Clear division of work
An essential component of an organisational structure is a clear division of labor. The most important reason for structuring an organisation is to clearly define the jobs and duties of employees of the organisation.
The proper distribution of work has many benefits, such as avoiding replication of work, adequate utilization of skills and talent of employees, appropriate usage of time, and enhanced productivity. In an organized organisational structure, each employee has an important role to play and a specific job to perform.
Moreover, the proper division of work reduces the chances of misunderstanding between employees. The quality of work improves in the organisation because employees can coordinate well with one another as they are well aware of the work they supposed to do.
For example, in an organisation, it is the job of the top management of an organisation to take an important decision about the organisation and the role of lower management, convey their decision and divide work to employees working in the organization. In this way, the organisation can achieve adequate goals.
2. Simple structure
An organisational structure should not be complicated. It should be simple enough for employees of all levels to understand. Information flows more smoothly in a simple organisation. It is easy to adapt to changes when an organization is simple in its structure. Simple structuring of the organisation is most difficult. It requires high expertise to design a simple structure of the organisation, especially in larger organisations.
There are different types of organisational structure. An organisation can adopt an organisational structure according to the size of the organisation and the number of employees working in the organisation.
For example, one level of management is enough for an organization that has less than 20 employees working in it. However, in larger organizations where more than a thousand people work, the need for two or three levels of management becomes necessary.
3. Flexible structure
The structure of an organisation should be flexible. A flexible structure adjusts itself according to the demand of a new environment. A flexible organisational structure can quickly adapt to changes in government policies and technologies.
A flexible structure of an organisation lets the organisation continue irrespective of the changing times. For example, a few decades ago, all the work in companies used to be done by hands.
Companies that have clearly defined organisational structures adapted the change in technology quickly than the organizations which lacked a flexible organisational structure. Therefore, flexibility is an essential characteristic of an organisational structure.
An organisational structure is necessary for the continuity of the work. An organisation is meant not only to work today but for tomorrow too. Therefore, an organisational structure is designed by keeping the future continuity of the organisation.
For example, most successful organizations in present times had started way back in times when technology was not part of the organizations. But in current times, those organizations are working efficiently with the latest technology because of their efficient organisational structures.
Moreover, the work of an organisation should run smoothly when an employee leaves the organisation or suddenly pass away. In a proper organisational structure, the role of each employee is defined clearly, and each employee is responsible for a certain amount of work.
With a clear division of labor, it becomes easy to explain the work responsibility of the employee to another and let the work continue. In addition to this, clearly defined job roles make it easy to hire people with the right skills required for a particular task.
5. Clear division of authority
An important characteristic of the organisational structure is a clear division of authority. In an organisation, the authority in the organisation should flow clearly from an upper level to a lower level. Employees at all levels have a clear understanding of their job responsibility.
They are aware of the achievements expected of them. The clear division of authority helps in creating a good relationship between all the employees of an organisation. There are fewer chances of disputes between the employees when they are aware of the limits of their designation.
6. Responsible delegation
Along with the clear division of responsibility, the division of delegation is also an important characteristic of organisational structure. The employees in the organisation are given clearly defined work jobs. A task organization to a person according to his skills.
In this way, it ensures that the talent of employees is being used rightly and for the growth of the organisation. Job specifications are explained to employees before hiring them, and they are provided with suitable training so that they can do their work with excellence.
7. A clear line of command and direction
In a proper organisational structure, there is a clear line of command and direction. Top management is the most upper level of the organisation, which consists of a board of directors. The senior management takes the primary and important decisions, and then the resolution is passed to middle management. The responsibility of middle management is to explain the task to lower management.
Lower management of an organisation is directly connected with the employees of the organisation. The lower level managers distribute work to their subordinates and make sure that the work is done on time. They are answerable for the work performance of their team to upper management.
This is the example of the simplest organisational structure in a large organisation. In smaller organisations, the level of management is less. Lower the number of management-level means lesser will be the confusion in the line of command.
8. Less managerial level
In a smaller organization, there is only one level of management. The owner of the business himself manages his company and the work of the employees. This is possible because of a smaller number of employees and less number of departments in the business.
However, when a business expands and the number of employees in the organization increases, then it becomes necessary to have more than one level of management. A simple organisational structure includes a maximum of three levels of management.
Having more than three levels of management makes the structure of the organisation complex.
9. The role of top management
The top management of an organisation consists of shareholders of the organisation. These members are least interested in the day-to-day activities of the organisation.
They are a concern with the profitability of the organisation ad play an essential role in the critical decision-making of the organisation. A functional organisational structure makes sure that there is proper involvement of top management.
Staffing is most important for every organisation. The success of the organisation depends on people who work for it. Therefore, it is very important to hire people with the right skills to do different tasks.
Especially in large organisations, the role of hiring the right employees of the right kind of job is very important.