Relationship Between Organizational Structure And Culture

There are varying theories about the relationship between organization structure and culture. The relationship between organizational structure and culture is further complicated by the fact that the two are somewhat similar, and certainly interrelated.

One of the best ways to describe organizational structure is that it is a mechanism through which effort and work is coordinated with supervision to produce the results that are hoped for from organizational culture.

But does that completely describe the relationship. Organizational structure seems to be the conduits, the lines of authority, the system set into place through which individuals can come together collectively in order to fulfill the expectations of the organizational culture.

The success of a company meeting the goals of its organizational culture is dependant on having an effective set up and clearly defined relationship between organizational structure and culture. A well thought out and planned model that can clearly distinguish the relationship between organizational structure and organizational culture will allow for a more efficient directing of both employer and employee efforts towards the company's ultimate goals.

One of the most important aspects in the relationship between organizational structure and culture that will allow a model to thrive, or fail, is to make sure that each individual understands the full extent of responsibilities and work expected out of them. Likewise, the workers and supervisors should also know their limitations, and so not have to worry about issues that are beyond their scope of expectations.

Eliminating these worries will help to make the workers more efficient. When there is ambiguity, confusion, or any type of "gray area," this hurts production and efficiency. If there is a general misunderstanding of who and what a situation entails, or even worse, multiple conflicting interpretations, then this is an example of a faulty relationship between organizational structure and culture.

The relationship between organizational structure and culture is hard to define, but the two are inexorably linked. There can not be effective organizational culture without some kind of organizational structure to allow for efficient work and effort. Yet, the organizational structure is going to reflect the larger organizational culture.

A strong culture is more likely to have a strong and efficient organizational structure. A weak culture is more likely to have an inefficient and less effective organizational structure. Does the weak culture cause the weak structure, or the weak structure cause the weak culture? This is where the problems of separating the two tend to come in. They're obviously related, but it is not as obvious how.

In the end the best way to describe the relationship between organizational structure and culture is somewhat allegorical. If the organizational culture is the plumbing and the water, then the structure is the actual pipes. If the organizational culture is a football team, the specific coaches and players act as the structure. In this way, by using metaphors, it becomes much easier to understand what the relationship between organizational structure and culture truly is.