Strategies do not take place against a characterless background but must take account of the features of the organization in which they will be implemented. Organizational structures determine what actions are feasible and most optimal. The importance of organizational structures in the implementation of a strategy is hard to overemphasize. Good strategy involves taking account of where a company finds itself in terms of the external market and its internal organizational structure. Strategy and implementation must cohere.
Some organizations have a more centralized structure already in place before a strategy has been implemented. When this is the case, it makes implementing certain strategies more feasible. Change is always difficult to implement as a part of strategy; the fewer people involved in decision-making, the easier it is to gain consensus. More dramatic strategies are aided by a centralized organizational structure. Dramatic strategies can mean changing the basic ways an organization does business.
The best strategies often seek to take advantage of the innate advantages that an organization already possesses. Most organizations have certain departments that are particularly effective and certain tasks that it is already adept at doing. Strategies of this sort seek to rearrange organizational structures so as to better benefit from innate advantages. These strategies involve taking steps such as expanding parts of the organization that are successful and shrinking those that are not.
Organizational structures are often important in gaining consensus for a strategy. If all the parts of an organization aren't onboard with a given strategy, it will stand less of a chance of succeeding. The structure of an organization will have much to do with gaining consensus because it will determine who has to be appeased in management and how power is aligned. Different personal interests will often conflict and need to be addressed.
An organization that has been failing to compete effectively will often need to go through an organizational restructuring to change its focus. It will need to change its organizational structures to move away from tasks that it is not suited for. This sort of structural shift can be traumatic for an organization and requires great resources of will. Often an organization must have reached a crisis before this type of strategy can occur.
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- "Public Administration & Management"; Making Sense of Contemporary Strategic Implementation; Alder Tsz Tan Lau; 1999
- "Organization Studies"; From Organizational Structures to the Structure of Thought; Robert Chia; 1997
- StatPac Survey Research Library: Organizational Theory and Behavior; David Walonick; 1993