What are the differences between mechanistic and organic organizations? The answer depends on how you look at things. Put more simply; they’re bureaucratic organizations. Mechanical organizations operate very well in relatively stable, easy-going environments.
Comparing Organic And Mechanistic Design
Organic style is less flexible than mechanical style, and the people within them have to figure out just what they’re supposed to be doing. Chaotic and often inefficient organizational structures characterize an organization that uses centralization to control itself. Centralization can take many forms. From planning to manufacturing, centralization can even affect organizations at the top level.
On the other hand, more organic organizations, like a company run by a few individuals rather than a large corporation, aren’t characterized by rigid organizational structures. For example, the decision to market on YouTube or even to use Jaynike to boost marketing metrics may fall upon one person and need not go through a bureaucratic process at all.
A company with a single office is less likely to have a rigid formal organizational structure. If it’s employees who run it, though, a certain degree of corporatism is present. This corporatism isn’t anything more than business pragmatism.
Benefits And Drawbacks Of Both Mechanistic Structures And Organic Ones
Organic organizations are characterized by flexibility. Employees can try out different jobs, decide what to do on their own, and grow independently. They have no managers. However, sometimes a mechanical structure is necessary for highly specialized tasks.
On the other hand, mechanical structures can be helpful in highly competitive markets where adaptation is a crucial issue. For example, some struggling companies need highly trained and highly integrated computer systems. They don’t have the budget for an in-house department for this.
However, by using an organizational structure where individuals are given more autonomy, they can still get the functions they need. This structural design also makes sense if an individual can’t or doesn’t want to completely retrain themselves to meet the needs of their new organizational culture.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that most highly successful industries employ both organizational structures. Apple Computers, for example, has a centralized decision-making team and a manufacturing unit where a single employee makes every product.
The manufacturing unit doesn’t separate the “core products” that make up the iPhone from the individual parts that make up each phone. Neither is there a separation between the marketing and advertising departments. They all work together, complementing each other and leading the company toward a highly centralized structure.
What are your thoughts on the advantages/disadvantages of both organizational models? Would a mechanical structure serve your company better? Do you believe it would be better to maintain a more traditional corporate system? Would an organic organizational structure be better for your business?