Workplace Structures

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  • Created by: Em
  • Created on: 19-03-16 07:17

Workplace Structures

  • These structures enable businesses to be efficient and flexible in the way that they work
  • Some of the decisions businesses make need to consider:
    • How labour will be divided
    • The chain of command
    • Control and authority (who is responsible for who and what are they responsible for)
    • Patterns of decision making 
    •  Numbers of layers within an organisation 
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Hierarchical (Vertical) Structures

  • In this workplace structure employees are arranged into layers from senior management to front-line workers
  • There are clearly identifiable organisational positions, roles, responibilities and accountabilities
  • There is also a clearly defined span of control (e.g. number of employees reporting to the manager)
  • Centralised decision making (decisions made without employees)
  • Most common among business 
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Flatter (Horizontal) Structures

  • There is improved communication between staff due to fewer layers 
  • Eployees are being actively involved in decision making 
  • Increased use of employees' knowledge, skills and experience 
  • Workers generally feel greater levels of empowerment and motivation
  • Usually adopted by small businesses
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Network Structures

  • These structures outsource a number of their functions to outside businesses
  • Usually the core business will exercise administrative control over the other business it has outsourced its functions to
  • These structures tend to be flexible and can readily adapt to changes in customer demand or choice
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Matrix Structures

  • Businesses that undertake a proect or assignment usually form a team of specialists from different areas
  • Benefits of using the matrix structure:
    • Improved communication channes across the organisation (employees are working outside their department)
    • Interdependent rivalries subside
    • 'Cross pollination' due to an increase in the number of ideas being put forward 
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