What is Structure? LO25504

From: Barry Mallis (theorgtrainer@earthlink.net)
Date: 10/21/00

Replying to LO25499 --


If you're talking about schools (or any organization for that matter),
then I think that structure is created by the organization when it
explicitly and implicitly combines process capabilities with functional

Structure can exist without these, of course. Stonehenge has a structure.
But that's not what you're asking about. We're talking people in action.
As in the education environment.

A structure where people come together to perform tasks which produce an
output have to be driven by a focus on a real or imaginary customer.

Process capabilities lead to process outputs which meet a pre-determined
set of requirements.

Functional competencies are those applied skills, knowledge and experience
to solve problems and operate processes. Competencies reside inside

If you imagine a matrix (like the Enterprise Model), where one axis is
capabilities, and the other functions, then you can actually draw a
"structure" for a group of people trying to accomplish tasks with specific

Two articles which further clarify this idea are:

Garvin, David The Processes of Organization and Management, Sloan
Management Review, MIT, Summer 1998, Volume 39, Number 4 (reprint 3943)

Hatten and Rosenthal, Managing the Process-Centred Enterprise, Long Range
Planning, Vol. 32, No. 3, pp. 292 to 310, 1999, Elsevier Science, Ltd.

The Center for Quality of Management provides training programs in
Integrated Management Systems which rely heavily on the structure I have
described. The IMS program is one of four modules they have created, which
combined are entitled Managing Business Complexity. These are offered in
Cincinnati, Louisville, and San Jose (www.cqm.org).

Perhaps this will provide a candle in your search.

Best regards,

Barry Mallis


Barry Mallis <theorgtrainer@earthlink.net>

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