A review of Structure in Fives; Designing Effective Organizations

Abstract This review of Henry Mintzbergs book is a part of my thesis literature study. Here I will review the essence of Mintzbergs work. He discusses the design and structure of organizations, finding several patterns and parameters that influence the organizational structuring. Among his most famous findings are the five organizational structures; The Simple Structure, the Machine Bureaucracy, the Professional Bureaucracy, the Divisionalized From and the Adhocracy.


Main message & purpose

’Designing effective organizations’ address the situation in which all organizations exist. With an offset in essential organizational parts and actors, Mintzberg delivers an distilled and concise interpretation of collaboration mechanisms, power distribution and structural issues. The book is the product of Mintzbergs survey of available literature on the subject, he purposefully wrote the book for practitioners, thus making it a lot more comprehensible compared to much of the other work available in this field. The book consists of two main parts, first a presentation and a discussion of the basic elements in organizational design. This builds up a foundation from which adjustment of key factors leads to the extraction of five basic structural designs in the last part of the book. Throughout the book, Mintzberg notes how the number five is repeated in most of the key aspects. He defines five organizational parts, five coordinating mechanisms and five types of decentralization. Each of these topics contains a set of factors which influences the emerging structure. But as Mintzberg notes before starting to define the 5 key structures; ’There is no dependent or independent variable in a system, everything depends on something else’.


A Review of Structure in 5’s, Designing Effective Organizations

Figure 1: The five basic parts
This statement clarifies another final observation made by the author that, due to...