Issues of Organizational Design

Issues of Organizational Design

A Mathematical Programming View of Organizations

1st Edition - January 1, 1981

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  • Author: Børge Obel
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483189673

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Issues of Organizational Design: A Mathematical Programming View of Organizations analyzes the view that organizations can be represented satisfactorily by a mathematical programming model and relates it to other theories of organizational behavior. The potential of this approach to organizational analysis is evaluated. Comprised of seven chapters, this book begins with an overview of the three major schools of organizational theory: the classical/structural school, the human relations school, and the contingency school. It then defines what an organization is and outlines the relationship between organizational elements. The example of the two-product firm is used to illustrate the basic model framework, and how coordination, diversification, and incentives can be treated in this framework.Subsequent chapters explore the relationship between the contingency approach and the mathematical programming approach to organizational design; the coordination problem and the process of decision making in a decentralized organization; the decomposition of the organization into a number of smaller units; and types of evaluation and incentive schemes for addressing cheating in a multi-level organization. The book also presents a series of empirical studies where a mathematical programming view of organizations has been assumed before concluding with a discussion on the process of designing organizations. This monograph will be useful for students of organizational design and for practitioners who use models in connection with decision making.

Table of Contents

  • Preface

    1. Introduction and Overview

    Current Trends in Organizational Design

    What is an Organization

    The Organization as a System of Constraints

    A Mathematical Programming Formulation

    Measurement Problem

    Organizational Design

    Appendix 1A

    2. The Relationship Between the "Contingency Approach" and the Mathematical Programming Approach

    The Contingency Approach to Organizational Design

    A Mathematical Programming Approach to Organizational Design


    Organizational Interdependence


    3. Organizational Coordination

    The Coordination Problem

    The Process of Decision Making in a Decentralized Organization

    A Price-Directive Approach

    A Budget Approach

    A Unified Coordination Procedure

    Properties of the Unified Approach

    Introduction of Uncertainty

    Man-Machine Planning

    Appendix 3A

    4. Organizational Decomposition

    Structural Changes

    Functional Form

    The M-Form

    Vertical Decomposition

    Matrix Organizations

    Organization by Territory and Time

    5. Cheating and Incentive Mechanisms


    Cheating and Innovation

    Incentive Mechanisms


    6. The Empirical Evidence


    Real World Models

    Laboratory Experiments

    Computer Simulation Experiments

    7. The Design Process


    Statement of the Decision Model

    Evaluation of Organizational Designs

    Visualization of the Design

    A Step-by-Step Procedure

    How Mathematical Programming can Help


    Author Index

    Subject Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 286
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Pergamon 1981
  • Published: January 1, 1981
  • Imprint: Pergamon
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483189673

About the Author

Børge Obel

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