Organizing metal movable type
Organized livestock pens and walkways at Chicago's stockyards, ca. 1941.

Organizing (also spelled organising) is the act of rearranging elements following one or more rules.

Anything is commonly considered organized when it looks like everything has a correct order or placement. But it's only ultimately organized if any element has no difference on time taken to find it. In that sense, organizing can also be defined as to place different objects in logical arrangement for better searching.

Organizations are groups of people organized for some purpose, such as business or political activities.



Historically, humanity has always tried to organize itself. The organizing of information can be seen since the time humans began to write. Prior to that, history was passed down through song and word. Be it with religion, books and spoken word, science, through journals and studies, or in many other ways, organizing not only is history, but also helps communicate history. Writing ideas in a book, as opposed to verbally communicating with someone, and more specifically cataloging ideas and thoughts, is also an attempt to organize information.

Science books are notable by their organization of a specific subject. Encyclopedias, instead, usually try to organize any subject into one place, for faster indexing and seeking of meanings.

Nature of organization

The following are the important characteristics of organization.

Division of Work and Specialization

The entire philosophy of organization is centred on the concept of Specialization and Division of Work. The Division of Work is assigning responsibility for each organizational component to a specific individual or group thereof. It becomes Specialization when the responsibility for a specific task lies with a designated expert in that field. The efforts of the Operatives are coordinated to allow the process at hand to function correctly. Certain Operatives occupy positions of management at various points in the process to ensure coordination.

Orientation towards goals

Every organization has its own purposes and objectives. Organizing is the function employed to achieve the overall goals of the organization. Organization harmonizes the individual goals of the employees with overall objectives of the firm.

Composition of individuals and groups

Individuals form a group and the groups form an organization. Thus,organization is the composition of individual and groups. Individuals are grouped into departments and their work is coordinated and directed towards organizational goals.

Differentiated functions

The organization divides the entire work and assigns the tasks to individuals in order to achieve the organizational objectives; each one has to perform a different task and tasks of one individual must be coordinated with the tasks of others. Collecting these tasks at the final stage is called integration.


An organization is a group of people with a defined relationship in which they work together to achieve the goals of that organization. This relationship does not come to end after completing each task. Organization is a never ending process.

Purpose of organization

Helps to achieve organizational goal

Organization is employed to achieve the overall objectives of business firms. Organization focuses attention of individuals objectives towards overall objectives.

Optimum use of resources

To make optimum use of resources such as men, material, money, machine and method, it is necessary to design an organization properly. Work should be divided and right people should be given right jobs to reduce the wastage of resources in an organization.

To perform managerial function

Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Directing and Controlling cannot be implemented without proper organization.

Facilitates growth and diversification

A good organization structure is essential for expanding business activity. Organization structure determines the input resources needed for expansion of a business activity similarly organization is essential for product diversification such as establishing a new product line.

Human treatment of employees

Organization has to operate for the betterment of employees and must not encourage monotony of work due to higher degree of specialization. Now, organization has adapted the modern concept of systems approach based on human relations and it discards the traditional productivity and specialization approach.


Organizing, in companies point of view, is the management function that usually follows after planning. And it involves the assignment of tasks, the grouping of tasks into departments and the assignment of authority and allocation of resources across the organization.


The framework in which the organization defines how tasks are divided, resources are deployed, and departments are coordinated.

  1. A set of formal tasks assigned to individuals and departments.
  2. Formal reporting relationships, including lines of authority, decision responsibility, number of hierarchical levels and span of managers control.
  3. The design of systems to ensure effective coordination of employees across departments.

Work specialization

Work specialization (also called division of labour) is the degree to which organizational tasks are sub-divided into individual jobs. With too much specialization, employees are isolated and do only a single, tiny, boring job. Many organizations enlarge jobs or rotate assigned tasks to provide greater challenges.

Chain of command

Authority, responsibility, and accountability

  • Authority is a manager's formal and legitimate right to make decisions, issue orders, and allocate resources to achieve organizationally desired outcomes.
  • Responsibility means an employee's duty to perform assigned task or activities.
  • Accountability means that those with authority and responsibility must report and justify task outcomes to those above them in the chain of command.


Delegation is the process managers use to transfer authority and responsibility to positions below them. Organizations today tend to encourage delegation from highest to lowest possible levels. Delegation can improve flexibility to meet customers’ needs and adaptation to competitive environments. Managers often find delegation difficult

Types of authority (and responsibility)

Line authority managers have the formal power to direct and control immediate subordinates. The superior issues orders and is responsible for the result—the subordinate obeys and is responsible only for executing the order according to instructions.

Functional authority is where managers have formal power over a specific subset of activities. For instance, the Production Manager may have the line authority to decide whether and when a new machine is needed but the Controller demands that a Capital Expenditure Proposal is submitted first, showing that the investment will have a yield of at least x%; or, a legal department may have functional authority to interfere in any activity that could have legal consequences. This authority would not be functional but it would rather be staff authority if such interference is "advice" rather than "order".

Staff authority is granted to staff specialists in their areas of expertise. It is not a real authority in the sense that a staff manager does not order or instruct but simply advises, recommends, and counsels in the staff specialists' area of expertise and is responsible only for the quality of the advice (to be in line with the respective professional standards etc.) It is a communication relationship with management. It has an influence that derives indirectly from line authority at a higher level.

Span of management

Factors influencing larger span of management.

  1. Work performed by subordinates is stable and routine.
  2. Subordinates perform similar work tasks.
  3. Subordinates are concentrated in a single location.
  4. Subordinates are highly trained and need little direction in performing tasks.
  5. Rules and procedures defining task activities are available.
  6. Support systems and personnel are available for the managers.
  7. Little time is required in non-supervisory activities such as coordination with other departments or planning.
  8. Managers' personal preferences and styles favour a large span.

Tall versus flat structure

  • Tall - A management structure characterized by an overall narrow span of management and a relatively large number of hierarchical levels. Tight control. Reduced communication overhead.
  • Flat - A management structure characterized by a wide span of control and relatively few hierarchical levels. Loose control. Facilitates delegation.

Centralization, decentralization, and formalization

  • Centralization - The location of decision making authority near top organizational levels.
  • Decentralization - The location of decision making authority near lower organizational levels.
  • Formalization - The written documentation used to direct and control employees.


Departmentalization is the basis on which individuals are grouped into departments and departments into total organizations. Approach options include:

  1. Functional - by common skills and work tasks
  2. Divisional - common product, program or geographical location
  3. Matrix - combination of Functional and Divisional
  4. Team - to accomplish specific tasks
  5. Network - departments are independent providing functions for a central core breaker

Importance of organizing

  • Organizations are often troubled by how to organize, particularly when a new strategy is developed
  • Changing market conditions or new technology requires change
  • Organizations seek efficiencies through improvements in organizing

See also


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