Technology and the Effects on Organizational Design Essay

Words: 1919
Pages: 8

Technology and the Effects on Organizational Design Technology impacts organizations at every level. Organizational technology is defined by Jones (2010) as “the combination of skills, knowledge, abilities, techniques, materials, machines, computers, tools, and other equipment that people use to convert or change raw materials, problems, and new ideas into valuable goods and services” (p. 240). In other words technology determines the level of efficiency of organizations. This paper highlights how technology affects organizational efficiency and provides research to explain this concept. Also, theories by Joan Woodward, Charles Perrow, and James D. Thompson will be reviewed to explain how technology influences organizational structure. …show more content…
Therefore, the type of technology fosters the structure required to coordinate and accomplish tasks. Perrow focused his research “more on the non routine aspects of technology than Woodward and Thompson” by studying difficulties that are not easily predictable or require more knowledge (Jones, 2010). Perrow used task variability and task analyzability to show how tasks can be more difficult than others and how this affects structure (Jones, 2010). He produced a classification system using these concepts assuming that the kind of technology being used establishes an organization's effective and efficient structure (Proven Models, 2010). Task variability is the number of unexpected occurences that a worker encounters in a day and task analyzability describes the amount of information required to solve a problem (Jones, 2010). Most organizations “have multiple technologies that operate interdependently”, and Perrow concluded that technology is a determinant of “uncertainty in organizations” (Proven Models, 2010). The three models described although based on the same principle have many differences in theory. Thompson’s studies included manufacturing and service-oriented organizations assuming that the type of technology determined the most effective structure (Proven Models, 2010). Thompson showed the importance of the environment in