health care, mechanistic, organic, organization structure



  1. Olden, Peter C. PhD, MHA


Managers at all levels in a health care organization must organize work to achieve the organization's mission and goals. This requires managers to decide the organization structure, which involves dividing the work among jobs and departments and then coordinating them all toward the common purpose. Organization structure, which is reflected in an organization chart, may range on a continuum from very mechanistic to very organic. Managers must decide how mechanistic versus how organic to make the entire organization and each of its departments. To do this, managers should carefully consider 5 factors for the organization and for each individual department: external environment, goals, work production, size, and culture. Some factors may push toward more mechanistic structure, whereas others may push in the opposite direction toward more organic structure. Practical advice can help managers at all levels design appropriate structure for their departments and organization.