Factors that influence the organizational structure

Every business or enterprise, from the smallest, must have a well-defined organizational structure and clearly demarcated functions.

A business can not advance if the hierarchies, responsibilities, functions and tasks are not clearly defined and this is the basic objective of the organizational structure.

The organizational structure is represented graphically through the instrument known as an organization chart.

The most common types of organizational structure are: departmental, by functions, matrix, network or work teams, to know a certain detail of each one we invite you to review the article five main types of structures of the organization for a business.

Definition of organizational structure

The organizational structure, is the scheme used by the company or project to clearly define their hierarchies of responsibilities, positions and functions.

The organizational structure allows identifying and describing each area, job position, the detail of its functions and where or to whom it is reported within the organization.

It is considered the basis or infrastructure to delineate the authority and communication processes of any work system and is developed in essence to establish how an organization operates.

Factors that influence the organizational structure

There are several factors that influence the organizational structure, which can be internal or external.

Among them:

  • The degree of autonomy can be granted
  • The size of the company
  • Culture, mission and business vision
  • Corporate priorities
  • Ability to adapt to changes
  • Career and training plans

Let’s see some generalities of each of them:

Degree of autonomy

Although all organizational structures report at different levels of hierarchy, there are some simpler figures than others.

Few levels of hierarchy imply a flat, simple, flexible structure. On the contrary, many levels of hierarchy determine a pyramidal, heavy, rigid structure.

A flexible organizational structure can be bureaucratized, with an autonomy that will grant rigorous responsibilities between one or at most two hierarchical levels.

On the contrary, a bureaucratic structure, with several hierarchical levels, will grant little room for maneuver and will delegate little autonomy to the different areas.


Very determinant in the organizational structure of a company.

Small companies will have extremely simple structures, where the main functions are divided among three or at most four core areas that report to a general management or direction, mostly represented by the owner.

Large companies with a large number of employees can not maintain such a simple structure. It requires a greater separation of functions and operations as specialized as the size of the business merits.

Culture, mission and business vision

An organizational structure must be designed to be aligned around the mission statement and corporate vision.

A mission statement and vision are more than just a couple of marketing slogans in corporate brochures; These should summarize the beliefs of the company, its macro plans for the future and how the organization wants its customers, employees and suppliers to perceive it.

We must value the mission and vision very well, so that they can be understood and put into practice by all the members of the company.

Encourage managers and executives to strengthen them every day. A company that is unified under a single vision is better coordinated to maintain its organizational structure strong.

Disposition to internal and external changes

The organizational structure must be flexible, capable of adapting to the dynamisms that characterize current times. An organizational structure of networks or work teams assimilates better the constant changes of the environment than a matrix or bureaucratized structure.

It can be difficult to implement an effective organizational structure when there is high employee turnover or when you move very quickly from one department to another.

Stability can be one of the best ways to promote the growth of a strong organizational structure, and also promote medium-term exchanges of resources between departments. They are tactics that work well for employees and work teams.

Keep the staff motivated by offering them a competitive salary, good benefits, a comfortable environment and the opportunity to advance.

Hiring employees that are specific to each department, instead of all-purpose employees that will be moved all over the place.

It may interest you: The three basic types of structure of the organization that you can find as Project Manager.

Corporate priorities

Corporate priorities can sometimes dictate the organizational structure.

For example, if the company devotes more resources to operations than to sales, then over time the production department will be more influential in the structure of the company and could be higher than other areas.

The truth is that both parties are vital for the company, sales are supported by good production management to be able to place their products and the company needs to boost its sales to maintain itself.

When designing projects or organization charts and determining where the company’s resources go, we set priorities to ensure that the organization is structured in an aligned and efficient manner.

Training and exchange between areas

Proper training helps to foster a healthy organizational structure.

Monotony and routine can be factors of demotivation and bring problems to the organization.

Therefore, the organizational structure should encourage the exchange and ongoing training of the different areas and levels. Relays, exchanges, promotions must be an active part in each of the departments.

When employees are educated on how the company works, its different areas, what are the appropriate communication channels and how to work as a team, both these issues and organizational structure mature and are reinforced.

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