You have learnt about scientific management of libraries in Unit I. One of the managerial functions, viz., organising, involves analysing, combining and coordinating activities. The result of organising is the creation of an organisational structure. This unit deals with this aspect in some detail. Organisational structure is the formal relationships among groups and individuals in the organisation or the basic framework of formal relationships among tasks, activities and people in the organisation. Organisational structures are capable of fulfilling the following special functions:
i) Providing an efficient work system;
ii) Providing a system of communication;
iii) Providing (job) satisfactions to individual members of the organisation;and
iv) Providing organisational and individual identities.
Multiple purposes expected to be served simultaneously by organisational structures often lead to conflict and these conflicts are kept outside the scope of this material.
Six important elements of organisational structures are:
- The network of formal relationships and duties (i.e., organisation chart and job descriptions);
- Assignment of tasks and duties to different people and departments (differentiation);
- Coordinating separate activities and tasks (integration);
- The Power, status and hierarchical relationships within the organisation
- (authority system);
- The planned and formalised policies, procedures and controls that guide the
- activities and relationships (administrative system); and
- The flow of the information and communication network.
Organisational structures can be in two basic forms, namely, the hierarchical or mechanistic form and the adaptive or organic model. We are more concerned with traditional hierarchical organisational structures and related issues like vertical and horizontal coordination, delegation, decentralisation, departmentation and their implied principles, the relationship between technology and organisational structure, formal and informal organisation.