Organisational Structure

Syllabus requires you to:


Organisations are:

  • Goal orientated
    • people with a purpose
  • Social systems
    • people working in groups
  • Technical systems
    • people using knowledge, techniques and machines
  • The integration of structures activities
    • people co-ordinating their efforts

Organisations have:

  • Purpose
    • their objectives
  • Formal patterns of relationshiops
    • their structure
  • Division of labour
    • who does what
  • Formal sources of authority
    • who make decisions

















Organisational Resources

Three fundamental resources for an organisation are: Test your knowledge by answering Questions 1 to 10

What makes a successful company? Try Question 11

Focus on People

What role do people play in the success of an organisation?

Focus on the Organisation

Types of organisation - flat vs hierarchical



Level Flat Organisational Structure Hierarchical Organisational Structure Level
Top Management Top or Strategic Management
Functional / Divisional Management
Departmental / Functional Managers Departmental Management
Section / Project Heads
Section Heads / Supervisors Senior Supervisors / Foremen
Supervisors / Chargehands
Clerks / Operatives / General Personnel



Flat Organisational Structure Hierarchical Organisational Structure
Relatively small sized organisations (usually) Characteristic of large organisations
Few levels of authority and management Numerous levels of authority and management
Short chain of command Long chain of command
Broad span of control Narrow span of control
Tendency to suit mass production operations More formality, specialisation and standardisation


Workers and their information need

A heirarchical organisation can be organised into three levels, each with its own information system:


Level of Management Typical Responsibilities Information System Used
  • Definition of Objectives, Policies for whole organisation
  • Long term planning
  • Large scale investment decisions
  • Middle management appointment
Management Information Systems (MIS)
  • Establishment & monitoring of budgets
  • Acquisition of resources
  • Developing operational policies and objectives
  • Appointing staff
Information Systems
  • Effective use of existing facilities & resources withing budget constraints and prescribed objectives
  • Making routine day-to-day decisions
Production or Data Processing Systems


Stock Control of a Supermarket Warehouse:


Management level Information needs and uses:
  • Correct summaries of activities at the tactical and operational level
  • Gathering and analysis of enviromental information (price trends, competitor's actions, political factors, etc.)
  • Setting long term policies about stock levels, price agreements and contracts with suppliers
  • Accurate summaries of all operations affecting stock
  • Setting of key decision values (stock levels, reorder quantities, etc)
  • Setting of materials budgets within policy guidelines, orders, prices, etc
  • Physical movement and storage
  • Clear parts / material identification
  • Prompt & accurate recording of transactions
  • Clear guidelines on stock levels and order quantities


Data Processing Systems

Knowledge Work Systems

External influences on an organisation:


Now do the questions at the end of Chapter 36 of the text book