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Issues of Organizational Design - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780080258379, 9781483189673

Issues of Organizational Design

1st Edition

A Mathematical Programming View of Organizations

Author: Børge Obel
eBook ISBN: 9781483189673
Imprint: Pergamon
Published Date: 1st January 1981
Page Count: 286
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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


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


No. of pages:
© Pergamon 1981
1st January 1981
eBook ISBN:

About the Author

Børge Obel

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