Thursday, November 20, 2008
Burns and Stalker
It is important to remember that the spectrum of organizations from mechanistic to organic organizations is one model of structuralist thought. Burns and Stalker's analysis doesn't work for everything.
The appropriate model depends on the environment. If, however, these examples do fit within the context, then they provide some practical concepts. For example, the mechanistic system thrives with a division of labor. Jobs should be well understood and protocol in place to run a smooth process. This means role ambiguity and role conflict need to be minimized.
With organic organizations, the fluidity in the organization's process is enabled through the staff's "commitment to the concern's task," (Shafritz, 199). This means that employees' perception of the organization's cause must be understood lest the lateral nature of the structure blind administrators from seeing a weak spot. Accountability seems harder to maintain without specified job responsibilities. Steps must be therefore taken to insure consistency in a constantly shifting structure.
Burns and Stalker's models offer such principles that, when applicable to the situation, serve has a guide.