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Organizational Structure and Change

The organizational structure is a set of organizational units, and their interrelationships, within which management tasks are distributed between the units, the powers, and responsibilities of managers and officials are determined. It can directly influence the way an organizational change is managed in both positive and negative ways. Therefore, it is important to point out that the structure needs to reinforce the correct orientation to work, motivation, culture web, and span of control.

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Orientation to Work

The overall structure of an organization can influence the way an organizational change is managed by determining the employees’ orientation towards work. They can act as a basis for the work orientation among workers, where it can take the form of instrumental orientation, bureaucratic orientation, and solidaristic orientation (Christensen, Lægreid, and Rovik, 2020). Traditional theory of instrumental orientation to work can become a major part of the culture due to the organizational structure being poorly designed (Huczynski and Buchanan, 2013). However, the contemporary theory of solidaristic type can be promoted by the structure by reinforcing cooperation among various sections of the organization (Bratton et al., 2010). The researchers suggest that the structure can influence positively the general culture within a company through knowledge sharing (Islam, Jasimuddin, and Hasan, 2015). Thus, any structural shifts within organizations alter how their approach changes depending on the orientation to work. Therefore, it is evident that an organizational structure can be set up in such a way that promotes cooperation and cohesion, which will make the employee approach their work solidaristically. If various departments are not held accountable and not interested in the common cause, then one can expect that majority of the personnel will view the work in an instrumental way.


Organizational structure can also influence the way an organizational change is managed by encouraging and motivating employees. In order to critically assess and support the given statement, it is important to refer to the research that shows the relationship between organizational or employee performance and motivation. It is stated that job performance is directly correlated with employee motivation (Lazaroiu, 2015). The study from Ghana’s mining companies also indicates that motivation among miners affects the overall job progression and performance, which translates into cultural assumptions (Kuranchie-Mensah and Amponsah-Tawiah, 2016). In Vietnam, auditing companies are more likely to perform better if the leadership motivates employees through structural changes (Khuong and Hoang, 2015). In addition, there is a key concept of contemporary theory of intrinsic motivation among employees that is determined by the culture within an organization (Mikkelsen, Jacobsen, and Andersen, 2017). Lastly, organizational performance can be significantly enhanced by motivating employees (Lee and Raschke, 2016). Thus, organization structure can directly affect the overall employee motivation, which dictates how they will approach the change within an organization.

Culture Web

Organizational structure can influence the way an organizational change is managed by affecting the culture’s particular elements of the web. Organizational culture is a set of norms, beliefs, and assumptions (Driskill, 2019). For example, the structure can be designed to make the power centralized, which will make employees lack proactivity and independence (Nicolson, 2015). The structure can reinforce such behavior that promotes stories through villainizing top managers and key leaders (Ahmady, Mehrpour, and Nikooravesh, 2016). It can also influence the controls aspect of culture web by performance reporting (Ferri, Kalmi, and Kerola, 2015). Similarly, innovation can be a major part of the control element of the web (Dedahanov, Rhee, and Yoon, 2017). Organizational structure can also encourage cross-functional integration, which would influence the organization aspect of the culture web (Bai et al., 2017). Therefore, by critically assessing the evidence, it is clear that organizational structure can profoundly alter the culture through the culture web and its elements. These cultural elements, such as proactivity, can either reinforce changes within an organization or employees can resist them due to villainizing attitude.

Span of Control

The organization’s span of control can also influence the way an organizational change is managed, which will inevitably create a new paradigm of culture. In the case of IT departmentalization, allocating a separate department dedicated towards cybersecurity can influence the overall sense of security, which can be manifested in the culture (Kang and Kim, 2015). The departmentalization aspect of the span of control can also affect the organizational culture by distinguishing “hard” and “soft” performance units (Ahmed, 2017). Specialization can also affect job satisfaction levels among employees, which can shape the culture in the long-term (Adeyoyin et al., 2015). In addition, some organizations can be highly open, whereas others can be departmentalized, and thus, each type possesses a different set of assumptions and beliefs that determine a particular culture (Foster, 2016). Organizational structure form can either separate or unite the company’s personnel, and in the latter case, there will be a number of micro-cultures within the organization (Hatch, 2015). Therefore, an organization’s structure in regards to span of control and departmentalization can alter its responsiveness to change due to lack of cooperativeness among various sub-cultures.


In conclusion, organizational structure is an integral part of any organization that can influence the way an organizational change is managed in both a negative and positive way. There are primarily four pathways from which the structure’s influence in conveyed onto cultural changes. Firstly, the structure can determine the overall orientation of employees towards their work. Secondly, its hierarchy and rigidness can determine the employee motivation to perform, which will inevitably affect the management of change. Thirdly, organizational structure can influence how change is managed by transforming the elements of the culture web. Fourthly, it can modify the organizational change management through a span of control and departmentalization, where various units become separated and create their own subcultures.

Reference List

Adeyoyin, S. O., et al. (2015) ‘Effects of job specialization and departmentalization on job satisfaction among the staff of a Nigerian University Library’, Library Philosophy and Practice, 1295, pp. 1-20.

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Ahmady, G. A., Mehrpour, M., and Nikooravesh, A. (2016) ‘Organizational structure’, Social and Behavioral Sciences, 230, pp. 455-462.

Ahmed, M. A. (2017) ‘The importance of the organizational structuring and departmentalization in workplace’, The Journal of Middle East and North Africa Sciences, 3(3), pp. 30-38.

Bai, W., et al. (2017) ‘Organizational structure, cross-functional integration and performance of new product development team’, Procedia Engineering, 174, pp. 621-629.

Bratton, J., et al. (2010) Work and organizational behaviour: understanding the workplace. London: Palgrave-Macmillan.

Christensen, T., Lægreid, P., and Rovik, K. A. (2020) Organization theory and the public sector: instrument, culture and myth. New York: Routledge.

Dedahanov, A. T., Rhee, C., and Yoon, J. (2017) ‘Organizational structure and innovation performance: Is employee innovative behavior a missing link?’, Career Development International, 22(4), pp. 334-350.

Driskill, G. W. C. (2019) Organizational culture in action: a cultural analysis workbook. New York: Routledge.

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Ferri, G., Kalmi, P., and Kerola, E. (2015) ‘Organizational structure and performance in European banks: a reassessment’, Advances in the Economic Analysis of Participatory & Labor-Managed Firms, 16, pp. 1-9.

Foster, P. A. (2016) The open organization: a new era of leadership and organizational development. New York: Routledge.

Hatch, M. J. (2015) Organization theory: modern, symbolic, and postmodern perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Huczynski, A. and Buchanan, D. (2013) Organizational behaviour. New York: Pearson.

Islam, M. Z., Jasimuddin, S. M., and Hasan, I. (2015) ‘Organizational culture, structure, technology infrastructure and knowledge sharing: empirical evidence from MNCs based in Malaysia’, VINE, 45(1), pp. 67-88.

Kang, H., and Kim, J. (2015) ‘A study on information security departmentalization model’, Adult Learning, 20(2), pp. 167-174.

Khuong, M. N., and Hoang, D. T. (2015) ‘The effects of leadership styles on employee motivation in auditing companies in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’, International Journal of Trade, Economics and Finance, 6(4), pp. 210-217.

Kuranchie-Mensah, E. B., and Amponsah-Tawiah, K. (2016) ‘Employee motivation and work performance: a comparative study of mining companies in Ghana’, Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management, 9(2), pp. 255-309.

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Lazaroiu, G. (2015) ‘Employee motivation and job performance’, Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations, 14(14), pp. 97-102.

Lee, M. T., and Raschke, R. L. (2016) ‘Understanding employee motivation and organizational performance: arguments for a set-theoretic approach’, Journal of Innovation & Knowledge, 1(3), pp. 162-169.

Mikkelsen, M. F., Jacobsen, C., and Andersen, L. B. (2017) ‘Managing employee motivation: exploring the connections between managers’ enforcement actions, employee perceptions, and employee intrinsic motivation’, International Public Management Journal, 20(2), pp. 183-205.

Nicolson, P. (2015) Gender, power and organization: a psychological perspective on life at work. New York: Routledge.

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