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Outdated system of management/ opposite will be modern one

Enforce order and uniformity

Vertical structuring and reporting

Top down initiatives

Competitive relationships

Forcing relationships with suppliers

Handling operational roles

Direct control over people and resources

Rigidness and reactive approach

Defending organization’s boundaries and maintaining direct control



Large size is crucial to economic health in some industries. Size enables economies of scale, provides a wide variety of opportunities for employees, and allows companies to invest in expensive and risky projects.


Large organizations have a hard time adapting to rapid changes in the environment. Large organizations are typically standardized, mechanistically run, and complex.


Small organizations typically have a flatter structure and an organic, free-flowing management. They can respond more quickly to environmental changes and are more suited to encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship.


Managers in large or growing firms try to find mechanisms to make their organizations more flexible and responsive.




Organizational characteristics during the life cycle



Formalization refers to rules, procedures, and written documentation, such as policy manuals and job descriptions, that prescribe the rights and duties of employees.

Centralizationrefers to the level of hierarchy with authority to make decisions. In centralized organizations, decisions tend to be made at the top. In decentralized organizations, similar decisions would be made at a lower level
personnel ratiosfor administrative, clerical, and professional support staff. The most frequently studied ratio is the administrative ratio.



Even though many organizations are trying to reduce bureaucracy and streamline rules and procedures that constrain employees, every organization needs systems for guiding and controlling the organization. Employees may have more freedom in today’s companies, but control is still a major responsibility of management.

Managers at the top and middle levels of an organization can choose among three overall control strategies. These strategies come from a framework for organizational control proposed by William Ouchi of the University of California at Los Angeles. Ouchi suggested three control strategies that organizations could adopt—bureaucratic, market, and clan.Each form of control uses different types of information. However, all three types may appear simultaneously in an organization.

Bureaucratic Control

Bureaucratic controlis the use of rules, policies, hierarchy of authority, written doc- umentation, standardization, and other bureaucratic mechanisms to standardize behavior and assess performance. Bureaucratic control uses the bureaucratic characteristics defined by Weber and illustrated in the picture above. The primary purpose of bureaucratic rules and procedures is to standardize and control employee behavior.

Recall that as organizations progress through the life cycle and grow larger, they become more formalized and standardized. Within a large organization, thousands of work behaviors and information exchanges take place both vertically and horizontally. Rules and policies evolve through a process of trial and error to regulate these behaviors. Some degree of bureaucratic control is used in virtually every organization. Rules, regulations, and directives contain information about a range of behaviors.

To make bureaucratic control work, managers must have the authority to maintain control over the organization. Weber argued that legitimate, rational authority granted to managers was preferred over other types of control (e.g., favoritism or payoffs) as the basis for organizational decisions and activities. Within the larger society, however, Weber identified three types of authority that could explain the creation and control of a large organization.

Rational-legal authorityis based on employees’ belief in the legality of rules and the right of those elevated to positions of authority to issue commands. Rational- legal authority is the basis for both creation and control of most government organizations and is the most common base of control in organizations worldwide.

Traditional authorityis the belief in traditions and in the legitimacy of the status of people exercising authority through those traditions. Traditional authority is the basis for control for monarchies, churches, and some organizations in Latin America and the Persian Gulf.

Charismatic authorityis based on devotion to the exemplary character or to the heroism of an individual person and the order defined by him or her. Revolutionary military organizations are often based on the leader’s charisma, as are North American organizations led by charismatic individuals such as Steve Jobs of Apple, Tom Anderson of MySpace, or Oprah Winfrey of Harpo Productions. The organization reflects the personality and values of the leader.

More than one type of authority—such as long tradition and the leader’s special charisma—may exist in organizations, but rational-legal authority is the most widely used form to govern internal work activities and decision making, particularly in large organizations.

Market Control

Market controloccurs when price competition is used to evaluate the output and productivity of an organization or its major departments and divisions. The idea of market control originated in economics.A price is an efficient form of control, because managers can compare prices and profits to evaluate the efficiency of their corporation. Top managers nearly always use the price mechanism to evaluate performance in their corporations. Corporate sales and costs are summarized in a profit-and-loss statement that can be compared against performance in previous years or with that of other corporations.

The use of market control requires that outputs be sufficiently explicit for a price to be assigned and that competition exist. Without competition, the price does not accurately reflect internal efficiency. Even some government and traditionally nonprofit organizations are turning to market control.

Market control was once used primarily at the level of the entire organization, but it is increasingly used in product divisions or individual departments. Profit centers are self-contained product. Each division contains resource inputs needed to produce a product. Each division can be evaluated on the basis of profit or loss compared with other divisions.The network organization illustrates market control as well. Different companies compete on price to provide the functions and services required by the hub organization. The organization typically contracts with the company that offers the best price and value.

Traditional control mechanisms based on strict rules and close supervision are ineffective for controlling behavior in conditions of high uncertainty and rapid change.In addition, the growing use of communication and interactive technologies, which often leads to a democratic spread of information throughout the organization, is influencing companies to depend less on bureaucratic control and more on shared values that guide individual actions for the corporate good.

Clan control is most often used in small, informal organizations where people are strongly committed to the organization’s purpose, or in certain departments or divisions of larger organizations.



Clan Control

Clan controlis the use of social characteristics, such as shared values, commitment, traditions, and beliefs, to control behavior. Organizations that use clan control have strong cultures that emphasize shared values and trust among employees.Clan control is important when ambiguity and uncertainty are high. High uncertainty means the organization cannot put a price on its services, and things change so fast that rules and regulations are not able to specify every correct behavior. Under clan control, people may be hired because they are committed to the organization’s purpose, such as in a religious organization or an organization focused on a social mission. New employees are typically subjected to a long period of socialization to gain acceptance by colleagues. There is strong pressure to conform to group norms, which govern a wide range of employee behaviors. Managers act primarily as mentors, role models, and agents for transmitting values.

Today’s companies that are trying to become learning organizations often use clan control or self-control rather than relying on rules and regulations. Self-control is similar to clan control, but whereas clan control is a function of being socialized into a group, self-control stems from individual values, goals, and standards. The organization attempts to induce a change such that individual employees’ own internal values and work preferences are brought in line with the organization’s values and goals. With self-control, employees generally set their own goals and monitor their own performance, yet companies relying on self-control need strong leaders who can clarify boundaries within which people exercise their own knowledge and discretion.

Clan control or self-control may also be used in some departments, such as strategic planning, where uncertainty is high and performance is difficult to measure. Managers of departments that rely on these informal control mechanisms must not assume that the absence of written, bureaucratic control means no control is present. Clan control is invisible yet very powerful. One study found that the actions of employees were controlled even more powerfully and completely with clan control than with a bureaucratic hierarchy.73 When clan control works, bureaucratic control is not needed.


Type Requirements
Bureaucracy Rules, standards, hierarchy, legitimate authority
Market Prices, competition, exchange relationship
Clan Tradition, shared values and beliefs, trust


Organizational decline stage:



Organizational decline - a condition in which a substantial,
absolute decrease in an organization’s resource base occurs over time



Three factors that cause Organizational decline:


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