Thursday, November 24, 2011

Technology and Implications on Organization Structure

In the last blog, we looked at Perrow's topology of technology. Beginning with today's blog we begin understanding the relation of the technology on the social structure of an organization. We could classify the affects of this social structure into one of the following 3 classes. 
  1. Technology Imperative
  2. Relationship between Technology complexity, Uncertainty and Routine-ness 
  3. Task interdependence ant Mechanism of Coordination

In today's blog, we begin the first of these - The Technology Imperative.

The early works of Woodward's indicated that technology used by the organization would determine what sort of organization structure was best. This belief was called "Technology Imperative". However, when this was studied extensively by the researchers at "Aston Group", they found the result which Woodward's had indicated was contingent on the organization size.

The study by Aston Group summarized is as follows - technology has a greater significance for the structure-performance relationship when organizations are small than when they are large. 

This becomes clear when we have a closer look a these small organizations. [Relating back to this blog on the structure we had defined something called operational core, which we could here call as technical core]. In these smaller organization, most employees work directly on the core technology, but in larger organizations many employees are involved in technologies which are not directly related to the core. The structure in large organizations reflects greater differentiation and integration of a wider array of technologies than do social structures in smaller organizations.

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