A Comparison Between Mechanistic and Organic Management

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Organizational systems which are made of a combination of both organic and mechanistic elements exhibit many characteristics that are very much related to the quality of their performance. 

Both organic and mechanical organizations develop information technology systems, which in turn yield performance results that are in line with their organizational purposes and objectives. This allows these organizations to adapt better to changes in the marketplace. However, as an analytical tool, this study has revealed that there is a relationship between organic and mechanical organizations which can help in predicting how the performance of such organizations may evolve in the future.

Organizations within a structure which is made up of both organic and mechanical elements tend to exhibit a high degree of flexibility relative to rigid structures. 

Mechanistic structures are those which are very tightly controlled whereas organic ones are less so. Organic organizations tend to exhibit the ability to grow themselves by means of the accumulation of values from the actions of their various components. These values thus allow for rapid growth despite the fact that they may be subject to relatively rigid constraints such as external competition. On the other hand, a rigid organization may not be able to overcome its constraints by means of growth since it tends to be a structured, closed system which may only accept limited changes.

On the other hand, the study of organic organizations has also revealed strong learning organizations. 

In an organic structure the power of information to affect behavior is paramount since any failure to take advantage of this learning potential is likely to result in a collapse of the organization. On the other hand, rigid structures tend to stifle any meaningful learning opportunities since they are based on discipline and conventions which inhibit creativity. Thus even in these structures there is room for creativity, however the chances of this happening are highly unlikely.

Organizational systems which are more flexible exhibit a much higher degree of intra-organizational synergy. 

This is especially the case where the various organically related aspects of the organization can come together in a comprehensive approach. Thus in such organizational structures the processes which initially lead to a change in behavior can themselves initiate the cascade of related internal processes that collectively can affect behavior. Such a framework is capable of producing both qualitative and quantitative results thereby enabling researchers to study the effect of cultural evolution on organizational culture.

The field of organizational studies has in recent years undergone a sea change with the emphasis placed upon interdisciplinarity, interdependence and flexibility. Studies of mechanistic and organic organizations have therefore had to adapt to this more dynamic organizational context. A great part of this change has come about due to the adoption of a frame of reference which allows researchers to study cultural dimensions outside the traditional scientific methodology of structural design.

The underlying theme of this new approach centers around the assumption that a highly complex organization can achieve organization-wide efficiency through a simple common core or framework. 

The common core idea is that the various organizing principles can be applied equally at all levels of an organization and that a set of rules which dictate how these principles are to be applied can be universally and consistently applied. This view also postulates that rigid structures and forms cannot provide any real value since they are based upon a prior organizational design which may no longer be applicable in current situations. 

By contrast, a flexible organization is viewed as one in which organizations can re-adjust their designs as they experience organizational changes. Much like the concept of the fluid concept which holds that water can flow infinitely in any direction, this new perspective maintains that organizations can and will redesign their mechanical and organic structure to better match current requirements and organizational design goals.

The organic organizational structures advocated by the flexible theories assume that there are inherent organization-wide values which can be universally applied without the need for a centralized control. 

These theories also assume that there are some organizational values that are particular to a discrete company unit or a specific business function such as customer service which cannot be generalized across an entire enterprise. On the other hand, the flexible theories also reject the possibility of fully decentralized management which they believe would reduce overall company effectiveness since it would remove the influence of key executives who have a strong personal stake in the success of a company.

Organic Organizational Structures On the other hand, the organizational design philosophies of both mechanistic and organic organizational structure views stress the necessity of an organizational philosophy or culture that is grounded in core values and principles. 

It is this core value system that guides the ways in which the various employees of an organization communicate with each other and how they make collective decisions. 

Most organic organizational structures promote the participation of all levels of employees in making decisions so that corporate policy reflects the will of the employees through their elected representatives on all key decision making bodies such as labor councils. Mechanistic organizations promote the same type of policy making where decisions are made through the officers who report directly to the CEO or CFO rather than having elected senior management making the key decision decisions.

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