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May 26, 2022

Why Mechanical Organizational Design is Not Very Efficient?

  • February 7, 2022
  • 5 min read
Why Mechanical Organizational Design is Not Very Efficient?

So what are the differences between mechanistic and organic organizations? To answer that question we must go into the philosophy of the two. Specifically we’ll look at what each type is and look at the benefits/risks associated with each.

Basically, mechanistic organizations are bureaucratic bureaucracies entirely ruled over by rigid, unworkable rules. Organizations such as likes24.de (that sell social media boosters) are the prime example of bureaucratic design. 

Organic organization operates best in simple, stable, less demanding environments. The only obvious difference between a bureaucratic structure and mechanistic one is the fact that a bureaucratic structure may have some form of top-level authority, while a mechanistic one does not. No real difference in function occurs in either case. However, in either case, the organization is tightly controlled by rigid rules which prevent anything else from happening.

The reason that bureaucratic structures are so bad at performance is that they cannot adapt to changing external conditions. This is why organic organizational structures are so good at achieving goals and providing for their environment. Organic structures are flexible and the staff must learn themselves what they’re required to do by themselves. This also means that there is no clear hierarchy of command. A bureaucratic structure can easily collapse under the weight of conflicting interests, if allowed to continue unchecked.

Mechanistic organization is different. Because the structure is very rigid, managers cannot afford to make mistakes and employees cannot be promoted or demoted arbitrarily. If you want to test an employee’s capability to rise to the top quickly, you have to remove his specialization before he’s able to move up. Promotion to a specialist level is therefore always going to be dependent on performance. If the employee performs beyond expectations, he’s promoted anyway.

Organic organizations are characterized by flexibility because there are no rigid organizational structures. Managers are free to experiment with the way they work. They can make the necessary changes whenever necessary without worrying about colleagues who don’t agree with their plans. It’s not easy to form and maintain a new strategy in an organizational structure that has been established for many years. A specialized approach is therefore necessary if managers want to change things for the better.

Mechanical and organic organizations have neither a tight structure nor a formalized ranking system. To compensate for the lack of a ranking system, managers are highly adaptive. They can adopt any strategy that fits their needs to encourage innovation, creativity and performance.

These organizations have highly qualified personnel that are very capable of innovation and integration. They also have the luxury of making changes quickly when it suits them. However, since they don’t have any rigid organizational structure, managers are highly flexible and can easily adapt to changing market conditions. They don’t face much problem when making changes to their tactical management systems as they have a loose structure characterized by horizontal specialization. Thus, companies struggling companies have excellent chances of survival and growth in these types of organizations.

These organizations have a low level of differentiation. Their organizational units are similar in functions but not in functions. Their strategic decisions are not totally guided by strategic objectives but largely driven by organizational priorities and a few operational objectives. Their projects are mostly decentralized and involve various forms of co-determined action. Their projects are mostly not subject to centralized decision-making processes.

A key feature of a mechanistic organization is its ability to make fast, near real time decisions despite the absence of centralized decision making processes and controls. This characteristic makes the organization vulnerable to sudden and drastic changes in external circumstances. Rapid changes usually imply sudden changes in financial conditions, political atmosphere, natural disasters and other such events. In such situations, any wrong move on the part of the managers can lead to catastrophic effects and hence they prefer to rely on decentralized decision making process.

Low level of differentiation: When it comes to recruiting and selecting candidates, the recruiting and selection procedures of most of the organic organizations are guided by centralized authority structures. However, in case of a mechanical organization, the process of recruitment and selection procedures are almost haphazard. In a centralized authority structure, following best practices describes mechanistic organization design. This means that when a recruiter seeks for candidates from an organization, then that particular organization’s practices must be followed.

Clients: Clients of any type of organizational design will prefer to deal with organizations that follow best practices and are highly specialized. Therefore, even in case of organizational design based on best practices, most of the organic organizations face a lot of problems when it comes to maintaining client relationships. Clients expect that their organizational representatives will act in a timely manner and not make decisions arbitrarily. Thus, in spite of having highly developed technological systems, highly specialized staffing levels and a tightly controlled payroll administration, mechanical, organizational designs lack a core customer relationship management component. This is another reason why they are unable to attract and retain a wide range of clients.