Organizational Structure

Richard Whittington

in The Oxford Handbook of Strategy

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780199275212
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management C

 Organizational Structure

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  • Business and Management
  • Organizational Theory and Behaviour
  • Business Strategy


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Organizational structures are concerned with the recurrent relationships between the various members of an organization. This includes not just authority and reporting relationships — the simple question of who is in charge. Organizational structures tell us who has the resources; who talks to whom; who is accountable for what; what you can do on your own and what you must do with others; what kinds of career paths are available; and how knowledge flows around the organization. Some of these structures are written down formally, in the organizational chart and other procedures. Many of them are informal, even if often closely linked to formal structures as well. Organizational structures are therefore central to achieving anything in an organization — an essential part of strategy implementation.

Keywords: organizational structure; organizational charts; strategy implementation; recurrent relationships; organization members; human resources

Article.  9491 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Organizational Theory and Behaviour ; Business Strategy

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