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An organization is a social entity that is directed toward a goal, provides structure and coordination to activity, and is connected to the external environment.

Organization as a verb is the process of structuring and coordinating toward the goal.

Organizations can be (for example):

  • Tall (many layers of managerial hierarchy) or flat (few layers)
  • Large or small
  • For-profit, nonprofit, or a governmental agency

Some common forms of organization structure are:

  • Functional: all activities with a similar function existing in the same chain of command
  • Divisional: organized around products or strategic business units
  • Geographical: organized around location
  • Matrix: Functional organization crossed by project, customer, georgraphy, etc.

Management “restructures” an organization when they think it will better suit coordination toward the strategic goals.

    Organizational forms are shifting and blurring given the Internet and ideas around open innovation. Modern organizations are global, partnered with other organizations, and often contain virtual teams with limited physical interaction. Still other modern organizations are lose connections of freelancers, some of whom may be directed by a computer algorithm.




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    About Terri Griffith