Designing Effective Organizations: Divisionalized Organizational Structure

Designing Effective Organizations

(Mintzberg (1992) provides that The divisional form of structure is the more balanced form of structure if designed and managed correctly” (p.67)

Divisionalized form of organizations design is not an integrated organization like a set of autonomous entities couples together by central administration. But they are individual units with central administration, and their headquarters with the flow of power being top-down. Divisional form is mostly used in private sector of industrialized economy. Specialization of task is high in this system. Divisional zed form is different from other four configurations given that it does not constitute a complete structure from strategic apex to operation core. With it, each division constitute a structure and the whole system focuses on the relationship between the headquarter and each divisions. This system has a very good division of labour between the headquarter and the divisions (Mintzberg,1992). With proper management indeed this is the best organizational design technique. Communication is circumscribed and largely formal. The divisions are given power to run their own businesses, control the operations and determine the strategies for the markets that they control.

The divisions determine the strategies for given product while the headquarters mange the strategic portfolio. The head quarters also allocates the overall financial resources. The divisions are authorized by the headquarters on the capital projects that are big enough to affect the overall budget of the organization. Performance control systems are set up by the headquarters. Managers with the help of technostructure setup the systems. The headquarters replaces and appoints the mangers of divisions. This system is more organized that professional bureaucracy and machine bureaucracy. The headquarters monitor personal behavior the divisions (Mintzberg,1992).

Divisionalization that is pure remedies certain inefficiencies in capital markets but introduces its new ones in the market. This system trains managers but gives them limited autonomy than other businesses give. It spreads risks; however, it spreads risk consequences as well. This system provides protection to vulnerable operations during economic slumps. Divisional structure encourages systems steady improvement of financial performance although, it discourages entrepreneur innovations (Mintzberg,1992).

Divisional form of structure can be implemented in an organization through proper management and design of management. An organization should be divided into distinct units each called a division and be allowed to be independent and autonomous from each other. However, their link with the head quarter should be maintained. The divisions will be allowed to do minor works independently but under scrutiny by the headquarters. The headquarter will only control the behavior of the individual, in each division as well as control the capital investment in big projects which may affect the stability of the organization (Mintzberg,1992).


Adhocracy is a form of an organization the basically operates in an opposite fashion to the bureaucracy organization. It deflects the normal bureaucratic methods to solve problems, capture opportunities as well get organizational results. According to Henry Mintzberg, adhocracy is a dynamic and complex form of organization. If well applied adhocracy can be an efficient method of innovating as well as solving problems as it can thrive in diverse environments. For its implementation, it needs automated technical and sophisticated systems for its development and for it to thrive.

An operational adhocracy

Adhocracy involves creative, project oriented organization which is most often characterized by dynamic as well as complex environment. It is a type of dynamic organization which incorporates horizontal organization design the have been faced by complex challenges which requires higher development solutions that are functional. Recently, increased numbers of companies and organizations that have embraced this form organization and have realized that it has greatly been effective towards creation of teams and work forces with the relevant knowledge and their recourses have attained the desired organizational goals which mean execution of the necessary tasks. In our era, adhocracy has proven to be the industrial organization configuration. Adhocracy is based on the aspect of controlling the environment as opposed to supporting of standardized mass production which is the opposite case in mechanical productions. Adhocracy performs faster than others in foreseeing the environmental influences of an organization. Functioning in adhocrative ways means ongoing organizational responses to the environmental conditions. Adhocracy organization can be classified into two forms in dependence to the type of services it produces. These include; Administrative adhocracy. This form of adhocracy involves doing jobs according to the own needs of the organization which includes development of its own innovative actions.

Operative adhocracy that does jobs according to the client’s needs with an aim of satisfying them. If the operating core is isolated from the administrative component of the organization, most of the exceptional characteristics on the configuration of the administrative organization are brought into light. By implementing the function of the administrative adhocracy, the operative core of the organization becomes less important. A separation between the organizations’ operating core and its administrative part remains to be evident.  

In the operative adhocracy, all the organizational have been developed which makes it a more flexible organizational configuration which has no obvious borders in some parts of the organization. The most elaborate feature of the operating adhocracy is that the operative and the administrative works are usually joined in a common effort of finding a creative solution that will assist in meeting the clients’ needs. Experts who are based in the operating core combine their efforts with supporting staff and act ingeniously in extemporized project teams. The main function of the operative adhocracy is to work and act according to the requests of the clients with a common aim of finding solutions that are in accordance to the needs of the clients. Because it is faced with the requests of the clients, operative adhocracy engages its experts by gathering them into multifunctional teams with an aim of solving the problem through more advances and newer ways.

Operative adhocracy and the professional organization are similar in their methods of organizing but a problem always occurs because solving the requests of the client’s requests always involves differentiated methods. A professional organization involves classification of client’s problems and solving them through a standard solution using standardized knowledge but the operative adhocracy finds a creative and a unique solution. It achieves this through grouping of experts into multifunctional teams and bases their coordination on mutual adjustments with a common aim of finding unique and innovative solutions for the clients.

It is extremely difficult to determine the deference between real doing and planning of a fob in the ad hoc project works. Mostly, the planning activity in the operative adhocracy is unending due to the reason that it does jobs belonging to others in a market that is usually very demanding as Max Weber indicated. It is usually very difficult for an operating adhocracy to determine the nature of the next project. Problems which are unforeseen during job execution do not allow a proper design of work in the manner that have been standardized and for this reason, it is always important that the project team constitutes of adaptable members who posses multidisciplinary skills as well as the relevant knowledge. It is only through this way that the operative adhocracy can stay alive in the business. Mintzberg, (1992) emphasis that the ability of an organization to adapt to the environment by finding solutions that are innovative to help it to satisfy its clients and possibly find new tasks is the substance of organizational success that this model designs and effectively executes.   



Mintzberg, H., (1992). Structure in Fives: Designing Effective Organizations 1st Ed. Prentice Hall.

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