Henry Mintzberg (1980) identified five forms of structuring that influence performance within organizations. They include the Entrepreneurial Organization, the Machine Organization (Bureaucracy), the Professional Organization, the Divisional (Diversified) Organization and the Innovative Organization (“Adhocracy”).
Under the entrepreneurial organization, a firm has a simple and flat structure. The organization has a large unit under one or few managers. Such organizations are relatively unstructured and largely informal. An example of an organization that uses this structuring is a family business.
Under the bureaucratic structure, standardization is critical. In such structures, work is formalized. Routine, procedures, centrality in decision-making and specialization are paramount. Machine organizations have tight vertical structures. Functional departments connect to the top. In addition, there is a clear definition of jobs. Such organizations also rely on the planning process in task execution. Large manufacturers often use such structuring.
Under the professional organization arrangement, bureaucracy is a top characteristic. The major difference with a machine bureaucracy is that professional organizations rely on highly trained professionals. Hence, such organizations have a high degree of specialization although decision-making is decentralized. The structure is useful when an organization has a high number of knowledge workers. The structure is prevalent in professional organizations such as schools, law and accounting firms.
The other structuring is the divisional one. This structure is prevalent in organizations that have different lines of production. Commonly, the organization has a headquarter and divisions. The headquarters are often in charge of all operations although the divisions have some form of autonomy. This structure is thus in large and mature organizations such as multinational corporations. In this form, divisional heads make important contributions towards decision-making and overall organizational strategies.
The innovative organization operates under adhocracy (Mintzberg, 1980). Due to dynamism, organizations need to stay innovative by adopting ad hoc mechanisms to respond to prevailing conditions. This is because complexity, bureaucracy and centralization would be too restrictive for some organizations. Consulting, filmmaking and pharmaceuticals use this structure. However, this structure can be a source of conflicts. For instance, dealing with fast changes may stress workers.
3M has a board that is led by a chairperson. The company has a CEO and corporate officers. The Board of Directors is a group of leaders selected from across the globe. The 3M Company has diverse brands and product lines (3M., 2012). The product lines allow the company to operate in diverse markets. The company has associations with renewable energy suppliers and automotive aftermarkets.
Business units are assigned the task of examining and integrating the product lines into the company capabilities (Baskin, 1998). Hence, the research laboratory develops the inventions while business units transition such technologies into the various product lines. The ‘quad’ surrounds the chief executive officer as well as the executive vice presidents.
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Each business unit is under a laboratory manager and vice president. The two divide the units into specific product groups or lines that are led by product managers. The product managers are in charge of five to ten employees who work directly under them. The vice presidents and the managers assess projects monthly and provide leadership on development. Based on the discussions of top management, workers are informed about what is expected of them in regards to the following years’ performance targets.
Based on the evidence adduced in the paper, the 3M Company operates under four structural configurations. However, the divisional structure best reflects the structure of the company. In regards to the Divisional structures, the 3M Company is divided into several units as already established. These units however are coordinated towards the attainment of the company’s goals. The 3M organization also operates the innovative organization structure. This is based on the view that the organization meets on annual basis to design and adopt mechanisms to respond to prevailing conditions. Regarding the Machine Organization structure, aspects of standardization and formalism are prevalent. These aspects are present in the 3M Company. Under the Professional Organization structure, highly trained professionals are used. The 3M Company employs researchers who have professional experience in the field.
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The 3M website does not show formality in the organisation. More specifically, the structure of the organisation is not clear regarding the organisational structure. The website also does little in highlighting jobs within the organisation. Furthermore, the site does not show levels of specialisation. Such information would be crucial in fitting the organisation into the various structural configurations as proposed by Mintzberg (1980).
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