Monday, April 13, 2009

Organizational Structures

While structural blends or hybrids tend to compose roughly a third of all organizational structures, there is still evidence within the whole to suggest pockets of centralization and decentralization or even hybrids within hybrids that exist. To centralize, decentralize, or perhaps create a hybrid. The following is quite a great analogy. “One thing that business, institutions, governments and key individuals will have to realize is spiders and starfish may look alike, but starfish have a miraculous quality to them. Cut off the leg of a spider, and you have a seven-legged creature on your hands; cut off its head and you have a dead spider. But cut off the arm of a starfish and it will grow a new one. Not only that, but the severed arm can grow an entirely new body. Starfish can achieve this feat because, unlike spiders, they are decentralized; every major organ is replicated across each arm” (Beckstrom and Brafman , 2008 as cited by Seeds & Khade, 2008).

Seeds and Khade (2008) displayed a chart breaking down the statistics on organizations that were centralized (31%) vs. decentralized (38%) vs. hybrids (31%), and the split was roughly thirds (, p. 4). They believe, however, that the best organizational structure lies in decentralization. When looking closely at hybrids, supposedly the best of both worlds, one could look at e-bay as an example operating with a centralized corporate hub where all major decisions and ideas occur and a decentralized customer approach for which they are famous (Seeds & Khade, 2008). The question of organizational structure is organization and industry-specific in that what works best for some does not create a “one-size-fits-all” to be extrapolated outward to all organizations.

Seeds. D. & Khade, A.S. (2008). Transforming a multi-national corporation from a centralized organization to a decentralized organization. International Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. 8, No. 3. Retrieved March 20, 2009 from EBSCOhost Database.

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