Organizational structure is defined by Lamar University as “the formal system of task and reporting relationships that controls, coordinates, and motivates employees so that they cooperate to achieve an organization's goals.” The purpose of organizational structure is to create an environment that motivates employees to be effective and productive at their tasks and creates a system that promotes coordination and unity between different departments. When an organizational structure is ineffective, common indicators will manifest themselves in behavior, motivation, performance, teamwork and interdepartmental relationships.
Poor behavior can be seen in employees showing up to work late, not following through on their tasks and not filling out expected reports. An organizational structure’s purpose is to create a positive working environment that promotes teamwork, unity and standards that are expected to be met.
When an organizational structure is ineffective, leadership and employees alike will show a lack of motivation. Motivation is the ability to get things done and is fueled by an individual’s desires being met. For example, if an employee reaches a salary cap, there is no motivation for that employee to continue to improve at his job or participate in training and development. When people are not motivated, change is not the norm, creating a stagnant and unproductive working environment.
Even if people are completing their tasks, their performance and productivity rate will remain low in an ineffective organizational structure. Organizational structure is intended to increase the overall performance of the company. Low performance results in a lack of employee satisfaction, poor customer service and eventually a reduced bottom line. Effective organizational structure creates systems and procedures that maintain an individual’s performance at a high level.
A common indication of ineffective organizational structure is excessive conflict and the inability of teams to work together. This is typically because there is no clear or defined vision that is set, and limited goals are ambiguous and vague. Conflict also arises from lack of effective communication. If messages are sent that are contradictory or confusing, employees will respond with anger and frustration, which can lead to blaming and aggression.
Ineffective organizational structures do not provide the framework or policies that promote healthy interdepartmental relationships. Each department or team will operate exclusively and distrust other departments, which leads to strained relationships. There is commonly friction between departments and the inability to coordinate communication and work together for the common good of the company.