What is the Right Organization Design?
19 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2007
Date Written: December 7, 2006
This paper is a follow up to Robert Duncan's seminal article, "What is the Right Organization Structure?" published in Organization Dynamics in 1979. The purpose of this paper is to present key developments in organization structure and design since Duncan's article was published. The design developments are organized into three eras. Era 1was dominant until the late 1970s and included the use of traditional functional and divisional structures, including matrix overlays. Era 2 started in the 1980s and includes the designs that organize around horizontal processes, such as re-engineering. Era 3 came into its own in the 1990s when corporations embraced the hollow, modular and virtual organization forms that open the organization to outside sourcing partnerships. Design principles and examples of when to use each design are discussed.
Keywords: Organization design, organization structure
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