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formal structure

What Is an Organizational Structure?

An organizational structure is a system that outlines how certain activities are directed in order to achieve the goals of an organization. These activities can include rules, roles, and responsibilities.

The organizational structure also determines how information flows between levels within the company. For example, in a centralized structure, decisions flow from the top down, while in a decentralized structure, decision-making power is distributed among various levels of the organization.

Having an organizational structure in place allows companies to remain efficient and focused.

Understanding Organizational Structures

Businesses of all shapes and sizes use organizational structures heavily. They define a specific hierarchy within an organization. A successful organizational structure defines each employee’s job and how it fits within the overall system. Put simply, the organizational structure lays out who does what so the company can meet its objectives.

This structuring provides a company with a visual representation of how it is shaped and how it can best move forward in achieving its goals. Organizational structures are normally illustrated in some sort of chart or diagram like a pyramid, where the most powerful members of the organization sit at the top, while those with the least amount are at the bottom.

Not having a formal structure in place may prove difficult for certain organizations. For instance, employees may have difficulty knowing to whom they should report. That can lead to uncertainty as to who is responsible for what in the organization.

Having a structure in place can help improve efficiency and provide clarity for everyone at every level. That also means each and every department can be more productive, as they are likely to be more focused on energy and time.