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Article

Mehdi Mahmoudsalehi, Roya Moradkhannejad and Khalil Safari

Identifying the impact of organizational structure on knowledge management (KM) is the aim of this study, as well as recognizing the importance of each variable indicator…

Abstract

Purpose

Identifying the impact of organizational structure on knowledge management (KM) is the aim of this study, as well as recognizing the importance of each variable indicator in creating, sharing and utility of knowledge.

Design/methodology/approach

For understanding relationships between the main variables (organizational structure‐KM), the authors used statistical analysis and a structural model. A questionnaire was designed based on a literature review. The correlation between variables was examined, then the effects of independent variables on dependent variable were recognized, and finally a structural equation approach was used to perform path analysis, and to examine the effect of exogenous variables on endogenous variables.

Findings

The results suggest that organizational structure is positively related to knowledge management. The findings extend theoretical implications for organizational factor effects on knowledge management. In general, if the characteristics of organizational structure were less centralized, less formalized, more complicated and more integrated, the levels of KM would be enhanced.

Research limitations/implications

A couple of limitations of this study should be noted. The first limitation is the sample size used. There was also inadequate access to scientific research and up to date papers.

Originality/value

The paper presents a clear relationship between organizational structure and knowledge management.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 19 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

Keywords

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Abstract

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Designing Local e-Government: The Pillars of Organizational Structure
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-230-6

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Abstract

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The Emerald Review of Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-786-9

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Book part

Sangyoon Yi, Nils Stieglitz and Thorbjørn Knudsen

In this study, the authors unpack the micro-level processes of knowledge accumulation (experiential learning) and knowledge application (problem solving) to examine how…

Abstract

In this study, the authors unpack the micro-level processes of knowledge accumulation (experiential learning) and knowledge application (problem solving) to examine how task allocation structures influence organizational learning. The authors draw on untapped potential of the classical garbage can model (GCM), and extend it to analyze how restrictions on project participation influence differentiation and integration of organizational members’ knowledge and consequently organizational efficiency in solving the diverse, changing problems from an uncertain task environment. To isolate the effects of problem or knowledge diversity and experiential learning, the authors designed three simulation experiments to identify the most efficient task allocation structure in conditions of (1) knowledge homogeneity, (2) knowledge heterogeneity, and (3) experiential learning. The authors find that free project participation is superior when the members’ knowledge and the problems they solve are homogenous. When problems and knowledge are heterogeneous, the design requirement is on matching specialists to problem types. Finally, the authors found that experiential learning creates a dynamic problem where the double duty of adapting the members’ specialization and matching the specialists to problem types is best solved by a hierarchic structure (if problems are challenging). Underlying the efficiency of the hierarchical structure is an adaptive role of specialized members in organizational learning and problem solving: their narrow but deep knowledge helps the organization to adapt the knowledge of its members while efficiently dealing with the problems at hand. This happens because highly specialized members reduce the necessary scope of knowledge and learning for other members during a certain period of time. And this makes it easier for the generalists and for the organization as a whole, to adapt to unforeseen shifts in knowledge demand because they need to learn less. From this nuanced perspective, differentiation and integration may have a complementary, rather than contradictory, relation under environmental uncertainty and problem diversity.

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Article

Chanki Moon, Catarina Morais, Georgina Randsley de Moura and Ayse K. Uskul

This study aims to examine the role of deviant status (lower vs higher rank) and organizational structure (vertical vs horizontal) on individuals’ responses to workplace deviance.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the role of deviant status (lower vs higher rank) and organizational structure (vertical vs horizontal) on individuals’ responses to workplace deviance.

Design/methodology/approach

Two studies (N = 472) were designed to examine the role of deviant status and organizational structure in responses to workplace deviance. Study 1 (N = 272) manipulated deviant status and organizational structure. Study 2 (N = 200) also manipulated deviant status but focused on participants’ subjective evaluations of the organizational structure of their workplace.

Findings

Study 1 found that participants reported lower job satisfaction and organizational commitment, and higher turnover intentions when they imagined being confronted with deviant behaviors displayed by a manager (vs by a subordinate), regardless of the type of organizational structure. Study 2 extended this finding by showing that the indirect effect of organizational structure (vertical vs horizontal) on turnover intention via job satisfaction and organizational commitment was moderated by deviant status: when the deviant’s status was higher, working in a vertical (vs horizontal) organization was associated with decreased job satisfaction and commitment, which, in turn, was associated with a higher level of turnover intentions.

Originality/value

The findings broaden our understanding of how individuals respond to deviance at the workplace, by simultaneously considering the effects of organizational structure (vertical vs horizontal) and deviant status (upward vs downward directions of deviance).

Details

International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 32 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

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Article

Marcella M. Bonanomi, Daniel M. Hall, Sheryl Staub-French, Aubrey Tucker and Cinzia Maria Luisa Talamo

The purpose of this paper is to understand the impact of digital technologies adoption on the forms of organization of large architecture and engineering (A/E) firms…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the impact of digital technologies adoption on the forms of organization of large architecture and engineering (A/E) firms. Network theory has attracted scholarly and managerial attention, particularly from the perspective of the changes of project organization. However, little research focuses on network theory as a lens for understanding and managing the new forms of firms’ organization. Additionally, conventional organizational analyses are hampered by the lack of methods for understanding the changes in roles and relationships due to the adoption of digital technologies and examining their impact on organizational structures.

Design/methodology/approach

To address this gap, this research adopted a mixed-method case-study approach. This approach combined interviews, regular check-ins, and document analysis with data mining and social network analysis (SNA) to capture the changes of intra-organizational roles and relationships and for understanding their impact on the firm’s organizational structure. Using the data gathered, the authors created a dendrogram that shows the formal organizational structure, a sociogram that displays the informal organizational structure and a network map that visualizes the interplay between the two structures.

Findings

From this analysis, the authors identified four main findings: informal roles – as go-to people for advice and information about digital technologies – play within A/E firms facing digital transformation; such go-to people operate through informal networked relationships and beyond their formal roles; most of these relationships do not overlap with the formal reporting relationships; the combination of both these roles and relationships create an informal social network. The authors also show how managers can use SNA to understand the changes in roles and relationships due to the adoption of digital technologies and to diagnose their impact on organizational structures.

Originality/value

This research contributes to the literature of organizational design and change management from a network perspective in the context of the digital transformation of large A/E firms. It provides a systematic data-driven approach to understanding the changes of intra-organizational roles and relationships within A/E firms facing digital transformation and to diagnosing the impact of these changes on firms’ organizational structures.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article

Eva M. Pertusa‐Ortega, José F. Molina‐Azorín and Enrique Claver‐Cortés

Decisions about the design of the organization and the competitive strategy of a firm are very important in order to gain competitive advantage and to improve firm…

Abstract

Purpose

Decisions about the design of the organization and the competitive strategy of a firm are very important in order to gain competitive advantage and to improve firm performance. The relationship between organizational structure, competitive strategy, and firm performance has usually been analyzed using the contingency approach. The objective of this paper is to extend the relevant empirical literature of the strategy‐structure‐performance paradigm by comparing the resource‐based view (RBV) with contingency theory. To that end, the paper seeks to examine how organizational structure affects firm performance, taking into account the relationship with competitive strategy.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of large Spanish firms was studied using the partial least squares (PLS) technique.

Findings

The results support both the RBV and the contingency approach, but the RBV is more strongly supported. The findings show that organizational structure does not exert a direct influence on performance, but has an indirect influence through competitive strategy.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are limited to large firms. Therefore, they cannot be generalized to smaller companies. In addition, the use of opinion scales gives the study a subjective character. However, in this respect, most of the characteristics of organizational structure and competitive strategy are difficult to measure with objective data.

Originality/value

Researchers have studied the relationship between strategy and structure for a long time based on contingency theory. This study provides an alternative formulation for organizational design theory, based on the RBV, which makes it possible to reframe the relationships between strategy and structure by analyzing the organizational structure as a valuable resource and a source of competitive advantage.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 48 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article

Catherine L. Wang and Pervaiz K. Ahmed

Organizational forms have evolved over the decades. Organizational design reflects the systems view, which considers that structure consists of both hard and soft…

Abstract

Organizational forms have evolved over the decades. Organizational design reflects the systems view, which considers that structure consists of both hard and soft components, and is the superior composition of relationship between organizational elements. Structural dimensions are traditionally examined along three dimensions of formal relationship: hierarchical, functional, and the dimension of inclusion and centrality, underlining two prime types of structure: mechanistic and organic organizations. However, the knowledge economy makes new demands on organizational structuring based on processes. Informal structure better depicts actual organizational activities and reflects dynamic interaction that is critical to knowledge creation. This conceptual paper incorporates informal structure as an important dimension and further elaborates organizational structuring at a higher level: trust‐based relationship, externally‐oriented interactive relationship, and emotionally‐inclusive relationship; and their importance in the attainment of organizational success in the knowledge economy.

Details

Measuring Business Excellence, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-3047

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Article

Prodromos Chatzoglou, Dimitrios Chatzoudes, Lazaros Sarigiannidis and Georgios Theriou

This paper aims to attempt to bring together various organisational aspects that have never been collectively investigated before in the strategic management literature…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to attempt to bring together various organisational aspects that have never been collectively investigated before in the strategic management literature. Its main objective is to examine the relationship between “strategic orientation” and “firm performance”, in the light of two firm-specific factors (“distinct manufacturing capabilities” and “organisational structure”). The proposed research model of the present study is built upon the resource-based view (RBV) of the firm and the organisational aspect of the VRIO framework (the “O” from the VRIO model).

Design/methodology/approach

The study proposes a newly developed research model that adopts a four-factor approach, while examining a number of direct and indirect effects. The examination of the proposed research model was made with the use of a newly developed structured questionnaire that was distributed on a sample of Greek manufacturing companies. Research hypotheses were tested using the structural equation modelling technique. The present study is explanatory (examines cause and effect relationships), deductive (tests research hypotheses), empirical (collects primary data) and quantitative (analyses quantitative data that were collected using a structured questionnaire).

Findings

The empirical results suggest the coexistence of three distinct categories of effects on “firm performance”: strategy or “utility” effects, depending on the content of the implemented strategy; firm-specific effects, depending on the content of the organisational resources and capabilities; and organisational effects, depending on the implemented organisational structure. More specifically, the statistical analysis underlines the significant mediating role of “strategic orientation” and the complementary role of “organisational structure”. Finally, empirical results support the argument that “strategy follows structure”.

Research limitations/implications

The use of self-reported scales constitutes an inherent methodological limitation. Moreover, the present study lacks a longitudinal approach because it provides a static picture of the subject under consideration. Finally, the sample size of 130 manufacturing companies could raise some concerns. Despite that, previous empirical studies of the same field, published in respectable journals, were also based on similar samples.

Practical implications

When examining the total (direct and indirect) effects on “firm performance”, it seems that the effect of “organisational structure” is, almost, identical to the effect of “distinct manufacturing capabilities”. This implies that “organisational structure” (an imitable capability) has, almost, the same contribution on “firm performance” as the manufacturing capabilities of the organisation (an inimitable capability). Thus, the practical significance of “organisational structure” is being highlighted.

Originality/value

There has been little empirical research concerning the bundle of firm-specific factors that enhance the impact of strategy on business performance. Under the context of the resource-based view (RBV) of the firm, the present study examines the impact of “organisational structure” on the “strategy-capabilities-performance” relationship, something that has not been thoroughly investigated in the strategic management literature. Also, the present study proposes an alternate measure for capturing the concept of business strategy, the so-called factor of “strategic orientation”. Finally, the study adopts a “reversed view” in the relationship between structure and strategy. More specifically, it postulates that “strategy follows structure” and not the opposite (“structure follows strategy”). Actually, the empirical data supported that (reversed) view, challenging the traditional approach of Chandler (1962) and calling for additional research on that ongoing dispute.

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Article

Chimay J. Anumba, Catherine Baugh and Malik M.A. Khalfan

The construction industry is plagued by fragmentation of the functions carried out by the various disciplines involved in a project, particularly between the design and…

Abstract

The construction industry is plagued by fragmentation of the functions carried out by the various disciplines involved in a project, particularly between the design and construction teams. Concurrent engineering (CE) is seen as a possible means of overcoming this problem. However, for the use of CE to produce the desired benefits, various issues have to be addressed, one of which is the use of appropriate organisational structures. To this effect, this paper explores organisational structures for the implementation of CE in the construction industry. It does so by first reviewing the main principles of, and issues concerning, CE and organisational structures, and by examining the structures which have been proposed for CE by researchers and those which have been used by manufacturing companies in their implementation of CE. By taking into account the peculiarities of the construction industry, this information is used, in conjunction with the results of case studies of companies within the industry, to suggest suitable types of corporate and project level organisational structures to support CE.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 102 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

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