Mechanistic Versus Organic Organizations
There are two main models when it comes to determining the power structures and framework for roles, responsibilities, and authority within an organization. These include the mechanistic and the organic paradigm. The main factor that sets these two structures apart is the rigidity of the system. As this essay distinguishes the two, it will be apparent that the organic system is very flexible in comparison to the mechanistic one.
One of the factors that characterize a mechanistic organization is the existence of a centralized authority. Such organizations tend to be bureaucratic and hierarchal, with a central authority that the entire organization must answer to (Jones, 2013). For instance, I have worked for a government organization exhibiting this structure. The leader of the agency was the central power of the organization. He was required to approve all processes that were to take place. Therefore, before making any decision, one must seek the approval of the chief officer. In comparison, an organic organization has a flat structure with no apparent central power. Decision-making is more of an integrated role between many people. This makes it easier for any changes to be approved.
In a mechanistic structure, the processes are characterized by rules and regulations and a lot of documentation. The mechanistic paradigm views the universe as a mechanistic system that is made of building blocks (María Martínez-León & Martínez-García, 2011). Thus, these blocks need to be correctly stacked in order to be achieved. In the organization, these blocks are the rigid structures that are believed to be necessary for organizational processes to be necessary. Conversely, the organic structure is very informal, with no requirement for the same processes to be followed to achieve success. The structure of conducting business in such an organization is more flexible and adaptable. This adaptability is caused by the lack of strict guidelines that would need to be changed through rigid processes (María Martínez-León & Martínez-García, 2011). For example, the organization that I currently work for has an organic structure. This organization is very simple in the way processes are done. If an employee has something they want to change, they are allowed to suggest it to their immediate manager, and if possible, the change is implemented. As a result, the organization self-organizes and adapts naturally to changes in the internal and external business environment.
Another significant factor that sets these structures apart is communication. In an organic organization, communication is open. Technically, any employee can contribute to the organization and suggest or implement changes through communication. The communication is informal and thus does not require a specific process for sharing the information (Claver-Cortés et al., 2012). On the other hand, the mechanistic organization has specific guidelines for organizational communication. Most of the communication occurring in such an organization is vertical, going from the authorities to the subordinates (Claver-Cortés et al., 2012). For instance, in the government organization, most of the communication was through office memos by the manager. Information was shared from the manager to the employees but almost never the other way around. When an employee needed to share information, they would need to write a letter that would take a while to be read and answered. As a result, the organization was not very adaptive to change.
Claver-Cortés, E., Pertusa-Ortega, E. M., & Molina-Azorín, J. F. (2012). Characteristics of organizational structure relating to hybrid competitive strategy: Implications for performance. Journal of Business Research, 65(7), 993-1002.
Jones, G. R. (2013). Organizational theory, design, and change. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
María Martínez-León, I., & Martínez-García, J. A. (2011). The influence of organizational structure on organizational learning. International Journal of Manpower, 32(5/6), 537-566.
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U07d1 Mechanistic Versus Organic
Based on your library research for this unit’s first assignment, write about your understanding of the difference between a mechanistic organization and an organic organization. Emphasize how an organic organizational system self-organizes and naturally adapts. Provide examples from your current or previous work setting. Essay should be no less than 2 pages.
DISCUSSION PARTICIPATION SCORING GUIDE
Due Date: Weekly.
Percentage of Course Grade: 20%.
|DISCUSSION PARTICIPATION GRADING RUBRIC|
|Applies relevant course concepts, theories, or materials correctly.||Does not explain relevant course concepts, theories, or materials.||Explains relevant course concepts, theories, or materials.||Applies relevant course concepts, theories, or materials correctly.||Analyzes course concepts, theories, or materials correctly, using examples or supporting evidence.|
|Collaborates with fellow learners, relating the discussion to relevant course concepts.||Does not collaborate with fellow learners.||Collaborates with fellow learners without relating discussion to the relevant course concepts.||Collaborates with fellow learners, relating the discussion to relevant course concepts.||Collaborates with fellow learners, relating the discussion to relevant course concepts and extending the dialogue.|
|Applies relevant professional, personal, or other real-world experiences.||Does not contribute professional, personal, or other real-world experiences.||Contributes professional, personal, or other real-world experiences, but lacks relevance.||Applies relevant professional, personal, or other real-world experiences.||Applies relevant professional, personal, or other real-world experiences to extend the dialogue.|
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