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Organization Structure and Complex Problem Solving

Selwyn W. Becker and Nicholas Baloff
Administrative Science Quarterly
Vol. 14, No. 2, Laboratory Studies of Experimental Organizations (Jun., 1969), pp. 260-271
DOI: 10.2307/2391104
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2391104
Page Count: 12
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Organization Structure and Complex Problem Solving
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Abstract

Based on an analysis of task characteristics and group problem-solving behavior, a division-of-labor form of organization was hypothesized to be superior in performance to committee or hierarchical forms in a business-game simulation. The experimental results strongly support the hypothesis. In addition, an interaction between organization structure and rates of improvement in performance was found and was greatest among groups showing a low level of initial performance. The problem-solving efficiency of different organization structures is discussed in relation to task requirements and the appropriate organizational behavior, to group adaptation to a task over time, and to various group characteristics.

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