Company Types And Structures

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Company Description #1:
This company operates like a machine. At its core, it believes that top-down control and discipline will lead to efficiency and profitability. Managers and supervisors make all the important decisions and tend to control most information.

There are clear responsibilities, formal job descriptions, carefully defined rules and regulations. Employees are rewarded for following orders and performing their tasks, but supervisors and managers also use punishment to get things done.

This company exhibits behavior best described as “Blind Obedience”.  It is managed in a top-down manner by either a single leader or a select group of senior managers who make all major business decisions.

Senior managers set the business goals, which are focused on the immediate-term.  Senior leaders depend upon business unit managers to drive their respective teams to accomplish the designated objectives.  Business units operate largely independently of one another.

There is a clear line of command at this company.  In general, managers expect that direct reports will not question their decisions.  At times, managers use their position of authority to keep everyone in line.

Employees at this company are largely task-oriented.  The company tends to reward individuals who perform their assigned tasks.

Company Description #2:
This company is able to get things done because managers pull people together and give them clear tasks to perform. There are well established procedures for how things should be done. Leaders’ policies tend to be demanding, but fair.

Managers rely on performance based rewards and punishments to motivate people. Managers and supervisors make most of the important decisions and share information on a need to know basis.

This company exhibits behavior best described as “Informed Acquiescence”.  It is managed according to a clear set of policies and guidelines.  Employees either embrace the rules without question or spend time navigating the rules as they try to make things work. Information is shared on a need to know basis.

Senior managers provide sufficient transparency regarding the company’s strategy and business objectives.  The organizational structure is aligned to specific business functions or expertise which supports a clear division of labor and ease of management control.

Managers rely upon a combination of carrots and sticks to motivate employees.  Employees are rewarded for their personal achievements as well as their contribution to the organization’s success. Metrics are used to gauge the achievement of goals.

Company Description #3:
This company’s mission and values are central to its operation. At its core, managers believe that participative decision making, guided by values, will result in high performance and low overall costs.

Business information is shared so that everyone knows what needs to be done. People take pride in achieving its mission and want to do the right thing. Employees are rewarded for doing things right as well as for good performance.

This company exhibits behavior best described as “Self-Governance”.  The mission and values of this company inform decisions and guide the behavior of virtually everyone at this company.   Employees assume personal responsibility for decisions because they believe in the company’s purpose and values.

Employees are educated about the company’s rules and policies, but company values are strongly stressed.  Employees not only adhere to the letter of the law but also the spirit of the law.  It is acceptable to question anyone’s decisions and actions in the name of the company values and principles.

Business information is shared so that everyone knows what needs to be done and can participate in decisions. Employees are generally trusted to make decisions and be leaders.

There is collaboration across the enterprise. People are inspired and take pride in achieving the company’s mission and want to do the right thing. Employees are rewarded for doing things right as well as for good performance.  The company seeks not only financial success but also to contribute to society.


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