An organization is a social entity with collective goals and is linked to an external environment. Most human organizational structures fall into one of four types: pyramids/hierarchies, committees/juries, matrix organizations, and ecologies.
A hierarchy has a leader who leads the other individual members. This organizational arrangement is often led by using bureaucratic practices. These structures are based on the idea that there must be enough subordinates to support the leader. Like a pyramid, a sturdy base is needed in order to allow the overall structure to reach higher. A leader needs the support of followers so that the organization does not fall short of its goals. Figure 1
Committee / Jury
Committees/juries consist of a group of peers who decide collectively, such as by voting. The difference between a jury and a committee is that members of a committee usually perform further actions after the group reaches a decision, while members of a jury come to a decision and then their work is complete. In common law countries, an example is how legal juries render decisions. Juries are also used in athletic contests, book awards, and similar activities.
Matrix organizations assign two bosses to each worker, with each boss representing a different hierarchy. One hierarchy is "functional" and assures that experts in the organization are well-trained and assessed by bosses who are highly-qualified in the same areas of expertise. The other direction is "executive" and works to have the experts bring specific projects to completion. Projects can be organized based on products, regions, customer types, or other organizational needs. The matrix structure can combine the best parts of both separate structures. A matrix organization frequently uses teams of employees to accomplish work, in order to take advantage of the strengths and compensate for the weaknesses of both the functional and decentralized forms of organizational structure.
Weak/Functional Matrix: A project manager with limited authority is assigned to oversee cross-functional aspects of the project. Functional managers maintain control over their resources and project areas.
Balanced/Functional Matrix: A project manager is assigned to oversee the project. Power is shared equally between the project manager and functional managers, combining the best aspects of functional and project-oriented organizations. However, this system is the most difficult to maintain because power-sharing often proves difficult.
Strong/Project Matrix: A project manager is primarily responsible for the project. Functional managers provide technical expertise and assign resources as needed.
Ecologies face intense competition and are designed to hold all employees accountable for their areas of responsibility. Ineffective parts of the organization are allowed to starve and thriving parts are rewarded with more work. Everyone is paid for the actual work they perform, in effect running smaller ventures that have to show a profit and earn their own keep, or the employees will be fired. Companies that use this organizational structure usually define roles and responsibilities rigidly.