What Is Organizational Design?

Organizational design refers to the way that an organization structures and aligns its people and resources. Many organizations put a lot of effort into the design of their organization based on the belief that the design has a great impact on the organization's functioning and efficiency. Read this article to learn what organizational design is and how to study this discipline. Schools offering Art degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Organizational Design Overview

Organizational design as a systematic approach to configuring and aligning structures, processes, culture, leadership, people practices and metrics in organizations. This approach is used to make decisions about grouping people and resources together to create the best environment.

Important Facts About This Field of Study

Degree Levels Undergraduate, graduate, & doctoral
Common Courses Organizational Behavior, Social Psychology, Conflict Resolution
Possible Careers Management analysts, human resource professionals, consultants, executives
Online Availability Some programs offered entirely online

Organizational Structures

There are many different ways an organization can structure itself. Organizations may need to experiment with one of five basic organizational configurations in order to find a good fit for their organization. Basic structures may include:

  • Functional Structures: In this design, positions are grouped together based on common activities, such as marketing or human resources.
  • Divisional Structures: Divisional structures group together departments based on their outputs, such as a specific product that the group is responsible for.
  • Matrix Structures: This structure combines divisional and functional structures. Employees would belong to both a functional division and a structural division.
  • Team Structures: With team structures, employees are grouped according to common purpose. The team generally focuses on one objective.
  • Network Structures: In a network structure, key functions are outsourced to other organizations. The role of the parent organizations then becomes to manage the relationships with these outside organizations.

Studying Organizational Design

Degree programs in various business and management fields, including information systems management, entertainment management and medical management, often offer a course in organizational design. Standalone professional development courses as well as short-term programs that may last a couple days are also available.

For individuals who want to pursue this field professionally, there are certificate and master's degree programs. These may be designed for current management or human resources specialists, though individuals without such relevant training may also benefit. Such programs may include coursework in organizational development, performance management systems and intercultural business training. Graduates may find jobs as organizational design specialists, business coaches and training developers.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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  • University of Pennsylvania

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