Basic Dimensions in Organizations

© Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC.

When we think about a house, we usually take certain features into consideration, e.g., how many rooms it has, the color of its walls, slope of its roof, etc. A person can consider the following dimensions when analyzing an organization.

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Structural Dimensions
Contextual Dimensions
Additional Perspectives on Dimensions of Organizations

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Richard Daft in his book, Organizational Theory and Design (West Publishing, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1992), organizes these dimensions into categories of structural and contextual.

Structural dimensions:

Centralization -the extent to which functions are dispersed in the organization, either in terms of integration with other functions or geographically

Formalization - regarding the extent of policies and procedures in the organization

Hierarchy - regarding the extent and configuration of levels in the structure

Routinization - regarding the extent that organizational processes are standardized

Specialization - regarding the extent to which activities are refined

Training - regrading the extent of activities to equip organization members with knowledge and skills to carry out their roles

Contextual Dimensions

Culture - the values and beliefs shared by all (note that culture is often discerned by examining norms or observable behaviors in the workplace)

Environment - the nature of external influences and activities in the political, technical, social and economic arenas

Goals - unique overall priorities and desired end-states of the organization

Size - number of people and resources and their span in the organization

Technology - the often unique activities needed to reach organizational goals, including nature of activities, specialization, type of equipment/facilities needed, etc.


Additional Perspectives on Dimensions of Organizations

Organizational Theory
Organizational Structures
Matrix Management: Method, not Magic
Virtual Corporations & Outsourcing: @BRINT (tm)
Solving the Rubik's Cube of Organizational Structure


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For the Category of Organizational Development:

To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may want to review some related topics, available from the link below. Each of the related topics includes free, online resources.

Also, scan the Recommended Books listed below. They have been selected for their relevance and highly practical nature.

Related Library Topics

Recommended Books

Managing Organizational Change

Growing Your Organization



Managing Organizational Change

Consulting and Organization Development - Book Cover Field Guide to Consulting and Organizational Development
by Carter McNamara, published by Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Provides complete, step-by-step guidelines to identify complex issues in for-profit or government organizations and successfully resolve each of them. This book is also helpful to organizations that are doing fine now, but want to evolve to the next level of performance. This is one of the truly comprehensive, yet practical, books about this complex subject! Includes online forms that can be downloaded. Many materials in this Library's topic about guiding change are adapted from this comprehensive book.
Consulting and Organization Development With Nonprofits - Book Cover Field Guide to Consulting and Organizational Development With Nonprofits
by Carter McNamara, published by Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Provides complete, step-by-step guidelines to identify complex issues in nonprofit organizations and successfully resolve each of them. This book is also helpful to organizations that are doing fine now, but want to evolve to the next level of performance. This is one of the truly comprehensive, yet practical, books about this complex subject! Includes online forms that can be downloaded. Many materials in this Library's topic about guiding change are adapted from this comprehensive book.

The following books are recommended because of their highly practical nature and often because they include a wide range of information about this Library topic. To get more information about each book, just click on the image of the book. Also, a "bubble" of information might be displayed. You can click on the title of the book in that bubble to get more information, too.



Growing Your Organization

The following books are recommended because of their highly practical nature and often because they include a wide range of information about this Library topic. To get more information about each book, just click on the image of the book. Also, a "bubble" of information might be displayed. You can click on the title of the book in that bubble to get more information, too.



Also See for For-Profits

Strategic Planning -- Recommended Books

Business Development -- Recommended books

Financing Your Business -- Recommended Books

Product Development -- Recommended books

Planning and Project Management -- Recommended Books

Also See for Nonprofits

Strategic Planning -- Recommended Books

Social Entrepreneurship (Nonprofit) -- Recommended Books

Capacity Building (Nonprofit) -- Recommended Books

Fundraising -- Recommended Books

Program Management -- Recommended Books

Planning and Project Management -- Recommended Books

Capacity Building (Nonprofit) -- Recommended Books




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