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Book part
Publication date: 17 August 2016

M. Diane Burton, Lisa E. Cohen and Michael Lounsbury

In this paper, we call for renewed attention to the structure and structuring of work within and between organizations. We argue that a multi-level approach, with jobs as…

Abstract

In this paper, we call for renewed attention to the structure and structuring of work within and between organizations. We argue that a multi-level approach, with jobs as a core analytic construct, is a way to draw connections among economic sociology, organizational sociology, the sociology of work and occupations, labor studies and stratification and address the important problems of both increasing inequality and declining economic productivity.

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The Structuring of Work in Organizations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-436-5

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 27 April 2004

Lisa Troyer

Teamwork represents a democratic logic that may contradict the bureaucratic logic characterizing many organizations. I develop arguments based on new institutional theory…

Abstract

Teamwork represents a democratic logic that may contradict the bureaucratic logic characterizing many organizations. I develop arguments based on new institutional theory suggesting that such a contradiction threatens a team’s legitimacy. My study of 71 teams lends support for two claims that capture a legitimacy paradox confronting teams: (1) Egalitarian work processes do correspond to more effective interactions within teams, however (2) To the extent that egalitarianism is uncommon in the organization in which a team is embedded, external evaluations of team effectiveness are less favorable. I discuss the implications of these arguments for subsequent research on organizational teamwork.

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Legitimacy Processes in Organizations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-008-1

Article
Publication date: 1 July 1977

John S. Evans

A striking feature of Jaques' work is his “no nonsense” attitude to the “manager‐subordinate” relationship. His blunt account of the origins of this relationship seems at…

1067

Abstract

A striking feature of Jaques' work is his “no nonsense” attitude to the “manager‐subordinate” relationship. His blunt account of the origins of this relationship seems at first sight to place him in the legalistic “principles of management” camp rather than in the ranks of the subtler “people centred” schools. We shall see before long how misleading such first impressions can be, for Jaques is not making simplistic assumptions about the human psyche. But he certainly sees no point in agonising over the mechanism of association which brings organisations and work‐groups into being when the facts of life are perfectly straightforward and there is no need to be squeamish about them.

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Management Decision, vol. 15 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Article
Publication date: 1 January 1985

Mary Weir and Jim Hughes

Introduction Consider a hi‐fi loudspeaker manufacturing company acquired on the brink of insolvency by an American multinational. The new owners discover with growing…

Abstract

Introduction Consider a hi‐fi loudspeaker manufacturing company acquired on the brink of insolvency by an American multinational. The new owners discover with growing concern that the product range is obsolete, that manufacturing facilities are totally inadequate and that there is a complete absence of any real management substance or structure. They decide on the need to relocate urgently so as to provide continuity of supply at the very high — a market about to shrink at a rate unprecedented in its history.

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International Journal of Manpower, vol. 6 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 10 October 2017

Hans Mikkelsen and Jens O. Riis

Abstract

Details

Project Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-830-7

Article
Publication date: 5 September 2018

Aleša Saša Sitar, Marko Pahor and Miha Škerlavaj

This study, which consists of two parts, investigates the influence of structure on the learning of individuals in organizational settings. This second paper (Part II…

Abstract

Purpose

This study, which consists of two parts, investigates the influence of structure on the learning of individuals in organizational settings. This second paper (Part II) builds on the conceptual paper (Part I) and explores the relationships between three structural dimensions of individual work – formalization, specialization and standardization – on employee learning behavior.

Design/methodology/approach

Multiple regression analysis was used to test the proposed relationships. Data were gathered in a large multinational corporation; 90 employees from 12 units participated in the research.

Findings

The results offer support for some of the proposed hypotheses, showing that employee learning behavior varies depending on how activities are structured. Employees perceiving their work to be less structured, with lower formalization, standardization and specialization, rely on external sources of knowledge and experience double-loop learning, whereas employees with a more structured work are inclined to an individual learning style. Structure thus determines learning.

Research limitations/implications

Because this exploratory study used a single-company research setting, the use of multiple companies from different industries and additional measures of learning behavior are proposed to increase generalizability. A quasi-experimental research design would add to causality claims.

Practical implications

Implications for broader organization design practice to stimulate learning are proposed. Managers should be aware of the distinct impacts different structures have on learning behavior.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the discussion on the relationship between structure and the learning of individuals at work.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 25 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 1977

Robert A. Lee and W. McEwan Young

Recent experiments with changes in work week structure from ‘rigid’ to ‘flexible’ have alerted employers and employees to the possibility of varying existing hours…

Abstract

Recent experiments with changes in work week structure from ‘rigid’ to ‘flexible’ have alerted employers and employees to the possibility of varying existing hours arrangements. The decision to change (or not to change) is often based on inadequate consideration of the consequences and an incomplete identification and analysis of all the available alternatives. Different degrees and forms of ‘flexibility’ may be appropriate for different work situations. The decision‐maker must appraise the work situations under his control and determine from the alternatives available which particular structure(s) are most suitable. To this end it is necessary, firstly, to conceptualize about the major variables in work week structures and then to develop a model which will allow the work situation characteristics to be ‘matched’ with a suitable work week structure. Research carried out in the Department of Management Studies at Loughborough University indicates that a ‘contingency’ model seems most appropriate.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Article
Publication date: 1 June 1990

Barrie Daniels

Considers the micro‐level structure of organizations, particularlythe design of structures for sub‐units and individual jobs. Examines theproblem at the following levels…

3593

Abstract

Considers the micro‐level structure of organizations, particularly the design of structures for sub‐units and individual jobs. Examines the problem at the following levels: the individual worker, the work group, and the organization, adhering to principles for the design of individual jobs. Surmises that the quality of working life is a composite of the attributes of the work groups, and that the organizational structure is only fully complete when each employee′s role is defined to a detailed level.

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Work Study, vol. 39 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0043-8022

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 1 June 2007

Beth A. Rubin

This chapter draws on recent literature in I/O psychology, management and sociology to posit a relationship between organizational structure and temporal structure and…

Abstract

This chapter draws on recent literature in I/O psychology, management and sociology to posit a relationship between organizational structure and temporal structure and develops the construct of layered-task time. Layered-task time is similar to polychronic time (P-time) in the inclusion of simultaneous, multiple tasks but includes additional dimensions of fragmentation, contamination and constraint. The chapter links the development of this new time and its resultant time-sense to variation in the degree to which organizations are hierarchical and centralized and develops propositions about these relationships. The chapter contributes to the growing literature on workplace temporalities in the contemporary economy.

Details

Workplace Temporalities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1268-9

Article
Publication date: 17 May 2013

Paul H.J. Hendriks and Célio A.A. Sousa

The purpose of this paper is to provide insight into how research managers and directors conceive, adopt and adapt organizational structures to regulate and stimulate…

1216

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide insight into how research managers and directors conceive, adopt and adapt organizational structures to regulate and stimulate academic research.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used principles of a grounded theory approach for collecting and analysing data in interviews with research directors and programme managers working at universities within the discipline of Business Administration in The Netherlands.

Findings

In total, four clusters of concepts emerged from the data, related to: the definition of organization structures; the effects and by‐products of providing structures; academic research as management object; and using organizational structures. The collected clusters show that research universities adopt all kinds of organization structures (formal, informal, narrow, broad, intentional, emergent) and that the perceptions and practices of research managers are crucial for deciding whether these structures may become “seeding” or “controlling”.

Originality/value

The “practice turn” in organization studies has highlighted how important work practices of individual knowledge workers are, but so far has not paid systematic attention to the role of management, or has even downplayed that role. Structuration, which is a key management domain, is not inherently “good” or “bad” (seeding vs controlling), nor is avoiding structuration. Research managers as quintessential knowledge managers appear centre stage in making structures work or not. What makes structures “seeding” (or not) is their selection, combination, adjustment and/or intentional ignoration in practices of management knowing. An important mechanism is that of negotiation in attempts to accommodate possibly divergent interpretations. The concept of management knowing introduced and elaborated claims that management knowledge and practices are intertwined and not independent management knowledge categories.

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