It goes without saying that the organizational structure is a key factor in business performance. Yet, there is no right or wrong when it comes to organizational structure – a structure that might be ideal for one business may be totally wrong for the other. For this reason, top management should carefully evaluate the options available and make the correct organizational configuration decision, based on various factors, such as goals, objectives, company size and so on. Mintzberg’s Organizational configuration can provide great help to that. Let’s look into it further.

What is Mintzberg’s Organizational Configurations?

The organizational configurations framework was developed by Mintzberg in his 1979 book ‘The Structuring of Organizations’ in which he talks about how organizations should be structured.

 The framework puts forward six basic parts that make up an organization. These are:

1. Strategic Apex (Top Management)

2. Middle Line (Middle Management)

3. Operating Core

4. Technostructure

5. Support Staff

6. Ideology

Accordingly, Mintzberg has discussed the following organizational configurations:

1. Entrepreneurial Organization

The Entrepreneurial Organization is characterized by a flat structure with a simple decision-making process. Here, the owners of the company are those that maintain the managerial control of all work processes, and there is no middle management. The Entrepreneurial organization is most often seen in startups.

2. Machine Organization/Bureaucracy

This type of organizational structure involved heavy standardization of work processes with clearly-defined procedures that must be followed. The Machine Organization has efficiency as a top priority, and this configuration is most often seen in mass production in which a specific product is produced daily on an assembly line.

3. Professional Organization

This category entails organizations which are made up of professionals that operate with some autonomy. There are still many well-defined procedures set out and the input is standardized. Yet, the final outcome might be different according to the professional. This category usually encapsulates law firms, universities, and accountancy firms.

4. Divisional Organization

The Divisional Organization has a wide variety of products and services that are all under one head office. Here, the focus s shifted to a decentralized structure, in which each separate divisions work somewhat autonomous under middle management. Large corporations that are active in various product groups usually fall into this category. The main challenge here is that conflicting opinions in regards to the company direction might arise among the various divisions.

5. The Innovative Organization / Adhocracy

This type of organization is made up of a group of talented professionals, and it is characterized by creativity and flexibility in decision making.  The innovative organization adapts to the daily business needs in order to achieve the desired final outcome. Work is usually done on a project basis.

6. Mission Organization

The Mission Organization has a clear mission which is strongly embraced within the company culture and conveyed to every single stakeholder. Therefore, the organization is built around an ideology, and further grows into it.

7. Political Organization

Lastly, the Political Organization is a power-oriented type of configuration in which politics are coordinating the system. Here, the organization configuration is unclear – instead, the focus is shifted on power.