• Keith Davis summarized the four key ingredients in a bureaucracy as high specialization, rigid hierarchy of authority, elaborate rules and controls, and impersonality. Example of bureaucracy is the federal government.
• Scott identifies four key components of classical organization theory, which is division of labor, scalar and functional processes, structure, and span of control.
• Division of Labor refers to how a given amount of work is divided among the available human resources. The division can be according to the nature of the various jobs or according to the amount of responsibility and authority each person assumes.
• Scalar and Functional Processes express, respectively, the vertical and the horizontal growth and structure of the organization. Scalar refers to the levels of the hierarchy (the chain of command) in the organization. Functional refers to the specific job duties of each employee in the organization. The scalar process at a university refers to how authority is allocated among the board of regents, the university president, the vice presidents, the deans, the department chairmen, the faculty members, the administration staff, and the students. The functional process at a university refers to how job responsibilities are assigned to faculty, clerical, maintenance, and administrative personnel.
• Structure refers to the network of relationships and roles throughout the organization. Structure enables the organization to meet its objectives effectively and in an orderly manner. Classical theory usually distinguished two kinds of structure, which is line and staff.
o Line organization includes the chain of command and the primary functions of the formal organization. It can be readily described by an organization chart. Examples, the line functions of a clothing manufacturer are to produce and distribute clothes, and a supermarket’s line functions are to buy and sell food.
o Staff organization supplements line organization. The staff people advise and serve the line people. A general staff is usually identified by the title “assistant to” and serves one member of the organization. Special staff people serve large segments of an organization. Example of special staff is the personnel department that services many departments in the organization.
• In his review of the literature on formal organization structure, Jablin (1987) describes four key structural dimensions that predominate in most theoretical analysis: (1) configuration (e.g., span of control, organizational size), (2) complexity (vertical and horizontal), (3) formalization, and (4) centralization.
• Span of Control refers to the number of employees a manager can effectively supervise. Graicunas (1933, 1937) explained the mathematics of the total number of possible relationships between a manager and employees. According to Graicuna’s formula, a manager with four subordinates had forty-four possible interrelationships. The interrelationships increase to a hundred with the addition of just one employee. Obviously, there are implications for the limits of effective management. The greater the number of possible interrelationships, the greater is the possibility for human conflict. The typical span of control is between five and fifteen subordinates.
o Span of control influences the shape of an organization. If most managers throughout the organization have a small span, the overall shape of the organization will then be tall. If the typical span is great, then the overall shape of the organization will be flat.
o Another implication of span of control relates to how centralized or decentralized an organization is. In centralized organizations, power and decision points are few. In decentralized organizations, authority and decision making are spread throughout the organization, and authority is generally delegated to the smallest practicable units. Centralization is more likely in a tall structure and decentralization in a flat structure.
o Ideally, a combination of centralized and decentralized authority may be required. The actual amounts of both should vary according to the specific goals, directions, personnel, and environment of the organization. For example, a dean who assumed final decision-making authority and based decisions upon recommendations from the general faculty and the committees might have satisfied both factions.