What Is Organizational Architecture?

The term organizational architecture refers to the structure and form by which a business operates. All types of businesses, from marketing firms to corporate restaurant chains, operate under this concept. Read on to learn more about organizational architecture as it applies to businesses. Schools offering Nonprofit Management & Leadership degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is Organizational Architecture?

The architecture of buildings and homes involves dividing interior spaces into various rooms that have their own purposes. For example, a home may have a kitchen for cooking, a bedroom for sleeping and a closet for storage. Organizational architecture is similar to brick-and-mortar architecture, although it deals with concepts instead of building materials. Organizational architecture ensures that all components of a business function cohesively to achieve its goals. These components can include:

  • Suppliers
  • Distribution
  • Customers
  • Employees

Important Facts About This Field of Study

Degree Field Master of Business Administration, Master's in Leadership & Organizational Development, Graduate Certificate in Organizational Development
Common Courses Organizational behavior and leadership, business economics, consulting and facilitation skills
Possible Careers Manager, Executive, Human resource professional
Online Availability MBA and Master's in Leadership & Organizational Development available online

Models of Organizational Architecture

A number of authors and business theorists have written and published their philosophies on organizational architecture. The results are a variety of different models that can be applied to a business structure. One model is the Tricord Model, which focuses on three main points, including strategy, systems and culture. This model illustrates that these three components all contribute to a company's identity. Another model is the 5-point Star Model. This model includes some of the same points as the previous two with specific additions in human resource management, structure and business processes.

Theories pertaining to such models are taught at the university level. For instance, Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota, offers three concentrations within this field: strategic communication, event management assignment and employee communication.

Command of an Organizational Architecture Program

Upon implementation of an organizational architecture plan, management professionals must carefully monitor its processes. This requires extremely strong communication skills, motivational skills and firm understanding of the business' goals. Clear direction is imperative when a company changes its modes of operation.

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