Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict (Print ISSN: 1544-0508; Online ISSN: 1939-4691 )

Editorials: 2021 Vol: 25 Issue: 3

Structural Archetypes and Innovativeness

Sally Guo, Robert Morris University

Citation Information: Guo, S. (2021). Structural archetypes and innovativeness. Journal of Organizational Culture Communications and Conflict, 25(S3), 1-2

The classical theory of structure style was marked by a preoccupation with universal forms and also the plan of ‘one best thanks to organise’. the belief of ‘one best way’ was, however, challenged by analysis meted out throughout the Sixties and Seventies below the rubric of contingency theory that explains the range of structure forms and their variations with respect to the stress of context. Contingency theory argues that the foremost ‘appropriate structure’ for a company is that the one that most closely fits a given operational contingency, like scale of operation, technology or setting. This strand of analysis and theory underpins our understanding of the relationships between the character of the task and technological environments, structure and performance. A number of the studies deal specifically with the question of however structure is expounded to innovation.

Burns and Stalker’s (1961) polar typologies of ‘mechanistic’ and ‘organic’ organizations demonstrate however the variations in technological and market setting, in terms of their rate of amendment and complexness, have an effect on structure structures and innovation management. Their study found that corporations may be classified into one in every of the 2 main types: the previous additional rigid and class-conscious, suited to stable conditions; and also the latter, an additional fluid set of arrangements, adapting to conditions of fast amendment and innovation Burns and Stalker (1961). Neither sort is inherently right or wrong, however the firm’s setting is that the contingency that prompts a structural response. connected is that the work of Lawrence and Lorsch (1967) on principles of structure completely differentiation and integration and the way they adapt to different environmental conditions, together with the market technical-economic and also the scientific sub-environments, of various industries. Whereas Burns Associate in Stalker treat a company as an uniform whole that's either mechanistic or organic, Lawrence and Lorsch acknowledge that mechanistic and organic structures will co-exist in numerous components of a similar organization attributable to the various demands of the practical sub-environments. The work of those earlier authors had a profound impact on structure theory and provided helpful style pointers for innovation management. Burns and Stalker’s model remains extremely relevant for our understanding of the modern challenges facing several organizations in their makes an attempt to maneuver far away from the mechanistic towards the organic style of organizing, as innovation becomes additional necessary and also the pace of environmental amendment accelerates.

Lawrence and Lorsch’s suggestion that mechanistic and organic structures will exist is mirrored within the modern dialogue regarding the importance of developing hybrid modes of organizations ‘ambidextrous organizations’ that area unit capable of handling each biological process and revolutionary technological Child (1972). In line with contingency theory, he argues that the eminent organization styles its structure to match its state of affairs. Moreover, it develops a logical configuration of the planning parameters. In different words, effective structuring needs consistency of style parameters and contingency factors.

The ‘configurationally hypothesis’ suggests that corporation’s area unit possible to be dominated by one in every of the 5 pure archetypes known, every with completely different innovative potential: easy structure, machine paperwork, skilled paperwork, divisionalized kind and adhocracy Daft and Weick (1984). Two of those archetypes will be classified as organic organizations with a high capability for innovation and adaptation: the easy structure and also the adhocracy. The previous depends on direct supervising by one person, as within the case of entrepreneurial start-ups, that endlessly searches unsound environments. The latter could be extremely versatile project-based organization wishing on the mutual adjustment of problem-solving groups. It’s capable of radical innovation during a volatile setting. The opposite 3 remaining archetypes, machine paperwork, skilled paperwork and also the divisionalized kind area unit additional repressed in their innovative capabilities and fewer ready to deal with novelty and alter.

Strategy, Structure and also the Innovative Firm

The work of micro-economists within the field of strategy considers structure as each cause and impact of social control strategic alternative in response to plug opportunities. Structure forms area unit created from the 2 variables of ‘strategy’ and ‘structure’. The central argument is that bound structure sorts or attributes area unit additional possible to yield superior innovative performance during a given setting as a result of their additional suited to cut back group action prices and deal with potential capital market failures. The multi-divisional, or M-form, as an example, has emerged in response to increasing scale and complexness of enterprises and is related to a method of diversification into connected product and technological areas (Chandler, 1962). It will be Associate in nursing economical ground breaker at intervals bound specific product markets, however could also be restricted in its ability to develop new competencies.


Burns, T., & Stalker, G.M. (1961). The Management of Innovation. London: Tavistock. Chandler, A.D. (1962). Strategy and Structure: Chapters in the History of the American Industrial Enterprise. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Child, J. (1972). Organizational Structure, Environment and Performance-The Role of Strategic Choice. Sociology, 6, 1-22.

Daft, R.L., & Weick, K.E. (1984). Toward a Model of Organizations as Interpretation Systems. The Academy of Management Review, 9, 284-295.

Lawrence, P.R., & Lorsch, J.W. (1967). Differentiation and Integration in Complex Organizations. Administrative Science Quarterly, 12(1), 1-47.

Get the App