Organic and Mechanistic Teams can work together for the same purpose if the organizational culture allows for the collaboration.
Both organic and mechanical teams may be required when an organization is changing or trying to adapt to changing conditions. One example of a collaborative team is the airline industry. Airline companies constantly need aircraft maintenance personnel. A mechanical engineer works under the authority of an engineer and is responsible for analyzing the performance of the airframe, avionics, safety and other systems. He or she is also often required to design future systems in order to maintain the current aircraft.
Organic teams are those built around a strong principle of horizontal span and longevity.
They are more loosely organized than mechanical divisions and are designed to adapt to changing circumstances. In contrast, most organic units are tightly controlled with a top-down directive from the president. In an organization such as the airline industry, a lot of the emphasis is placed on cost-effectiveness rather than efficiency. However, both organic and mechanistic structures require and allow for periodic reviews to determine if the organizational plan is still relevant in the wake of rapidly changing conditions.
Organic organizations have traditionally focused on the relationships between employees rather than on organizational goals or objectives. Thus, they were not highly focused on productivity as much as other types of teams. Today, though, many modern organizations place a high priority on improving productivity through learning, as well as keeping their processes highly automated. This has led to the increased focus on mechanistic and organic structures that support learning. Many larger corporations have entire departments dedicated to learning, training, and implementing the best practices within the organization.
Organizational cultures are important for success, too.
A strong organizational culture is built from a solid foundation of trust and reliability, both of which are easily ruined when employees feel incompetent. Most organic organizations provide an environment where top-notch employees know that they can voice concerns or ideas without fear of punishment. Mechanistic structures are built to support and enforce the rules and regulations of the organization rather than trying to create individual rules within a larger framework that would be more amenable to individual creativity and innovation.
One way to make sure that modern organizations remain relevant and viable in today’s ever-changing business environment is the implementation of a central system for all departmentalization.
Often, a number of smaller departments develop meaningful relationships, which can be leveraged for the larger goals of a company. In mechanistic and organic organizations, centralization can lead to a reduction in wasted effort and time, while reducing overhead expenses. The centralization of a number of departments usually requires the creation of a new department, but this often leads to a synergistic relationship with previously departmentalized elements of the organization. Thus, by centralizing functions rather than creating new ones, larger numbers of people may be satisfied with their work and more productive at their jobs.
A key objective of centralization is to enforce more formal rules of behavior within the organization.
In most organic and mechanistic organizations, this is accomplished through a formal structure that sets down formal guidelines and metrics that organizations must meet. These formal rules may require various levels of approvals before implementing certain changes. In a number of organizations, however, these formal rules are rarely followed. For example, in most businesses there is no need for department managers to formally approve all employee changes unless they have an exceptionally high tolerance for risk.
Organizational theories suggest that the key to success lies in establishing an organizational capital model that is tightly controlled and that operates on the principle of inefficiency.
Tightly controlled organization-based capital means a minimal amount of external inputs and that ensures that only a small proportion of organizational resources are spent on purchasing activities and on staff activities. The organization’s capital structure needs to be tightly controlled to ensure that efficiency is achieved. One reason why efficiency is so important in mechanistic and organic organizations is that human interventions are necessary to implement the appropriate changes. Although humans may not always be able to make decisions that are optimal, they do have an important role to play in ensuring that the appropriate changes are implemented.
The key benefit of highly adaptive organizational designs is that they reduce risks to the greatest extent possible while simultaneously allowing for a highly significant degree of organizational flexibility.
Highly adaptable organizational structures are able to both provide substantial returns on investment and avoid many of the problems inherent in less flexible designs. Highly adaptive designs also allow organizations to gain rapid innovation relative to the level of inputs they require. They also allow for a relatively quick recovery from large-scale disruptions caused by negative externalities. Therefore, highly adaptable designs provide a powerful set of tools for improving organizational performance and achieving organizational goals.