Types of Organization

It has been started that detail of organizational structure may differ in terms of the particular needs of a given industrial enterprise. There are five principle organization types with varying degrees of complexity appropriate to the enterprise in terms of it’s size and type of product.

Line organization

It is the simplest form of structure. It is the framework on which a more complex organization may be built as need arise. It assumes a direct straight-line responsibility and control from the general manager to the superintend, to foreman, and to the workmen.

Line organization has frequently been referred to as military organization. It acquired this name through the fact that there are direct single lines of authority and responsibility between an officer and his subordinates. However, any similarity that might have existed previously between this form of organization and the organization of the military services is now outmoded. Branch of the military service now have special divisions with horizontal as well as vertical lines of authority and responsibility.

Line and Staff Organization

Industrial leaders have recognized, as their companies grew from simple to complex organizations, that a small number of executive could not personally assume direct responsibility for all functions such as research, planning, distribution, public relations, industrial relations, and many other varied activities. There fore, one of the first moves toward reorganization as company grew in size and complexity was to appoint assistants to executives. Specific advisory responsibilities were delegated to these assistants. Executives and general foremen retained supervisory authority and control over the activities of the personnel and of their particular departments. They were the coordinating force that work toward the preservation of harmony and good personnel relations between the workmen and special executive assistants. These assistant frequently carried the tittle of process engineer, design engineer, industrial engineer, or budget officer.

As the activities of these assistants increased, other personnel were added to assist in the activities. Eventually, the work centering around a special assistant was organized into a department which was known as a staff department, supplementing the line organization of the enterprise.

Functional organization

The development of staff department led quite naturally to attempts toward complete reorganization on a functional basis. This removed the staff specialist from his “assisting” capacity and gave him authority and responsibility for supervision and administration of the function, replacing the operating foreman. The movement was led by Frederick w. Taylor, a pioneer in what was known as scientific management. This functional organization proved to be a failure because each worked had a multiplicity of bosses, i.e., on for production preparation and scheduling, one for inspection, one for maintenance, etc. such a system is a direct violation of one of the principles of organization.

Line and functional staff organization

The functional organization of foremen as advocated by Taylor led to the establishment of functional type of organization could be retained. This has come to be known as line and functional staff departments were given responsibility and authority, within company policy established in consultation with the line organization, over specialized activities such as inspection, time study, employment, purchasing, internal transportation, and shipping. Note that these are service functions performed by specialized personnel apart from the line operators who are responsible to their line supervisors.

Under the type of organization, however, the staff department directs its function in the production units up to the point where disagreement occurs, e.g., interpretation of quality standards used in the rejection of finished work. The disagreement is then taken to the administrative heads of the production and the staff units involved, and ultimately may be carried to the higher management.

Line, functional staff and committee organization

In order to facilitate a cooperative relationship within a large industrial enterprise, many companies now add a network of committees to the line and staff organization. Committees are formed for the performance of special duties. These committees may be either “permanent”, sometimes, referred to as standing committees, or they may be organized to serve a temporary function only.