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The Context of Organization Structures

D. S. Pugh, D. J. Hickson, C. R. Hinings and C. Turner
Administrative Science Quarterly
Vol. 14, No. 1 (Mar., 1969), pp. 91-114
DOI: 10.2307/2391366
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2391366
Page Count: 24
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The Context of Organization Structures
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Abstract

Aspects of organizational context that have been held to be relevant to organizational structure were examined. Seven primary concepts of organizational context, viz.: origin and history, ownership and control, size, charter, technology, location and dependence on other organizations, were analyzed and operationally defined scales constructed. These were used as independent variables in a multivariate regression analysis to predict three underlying dimensions of organization structure previously established. The size of the correlations obtained on a sample of 46 organizations in the English Midlands (0.75 with structuring of activities using size and technology as predictors; 0.75 with concentration of authority using dependence and location as predictors; 0.57 with line control of workflow, using the operating variability scale of charter as a predictor) indicates that these aspects of context are salient for structure. The framework of contextual and structural variables is seen as making possible processual studies on a much more rigorous comparative basis than before.

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