. If organic organizations are popular with most employee, why can’t all organization be structured in an organic fashion? If one could identify “ trends” in organization structured, one of them would be decentralization. Why is decentralization becoming more common in contemporary organization? What should companies consider when determining the degree of decentralization?
An organic structure is one in which an organization has jobs which tend to be very general with few rules and decisions can be made by almost any employee within the organization. Burns and Stalker noted in The Management of Innovation that organic structures are appropriate in unstable, turbulent, unpredictable environments and for non-routine tasks and technologies.
Organic organizations are characterized by decentralization, flexible, broadly defined jobs, interdependence among employees and units, multi-directional communication, employee initiative, relatively few and broadly defined rules, regulations, procedures, and processes and employee participation in problem solving and decision making, often interactively and in groups.
In organic organizations, the emphasis is on effectiveness, problem solving, responsiveness, flexibility, adaptability, creativity, and innovation. Such an organization is able to respond in a timely manner to environmental change because employees are empowered to be creative, to experiment, and to suggest new ideas. The process of innovation is triggered by employees throughout the organization in a "bottom-up" manner.
It is not always necessary for an entire organization to be organic. Some units, such as research and development departments, may benefit from an organic structure because they face an unstable environment. Units that have a more stable environment, such as routine, administrative departments, may favor a mechanistic structure. Some units may borrow from both models. Customer service departments, for example, can build flexibility into...