Organizing is a process of identifying the overall tasks and responsibilities to be performed in an organization and then put together those that are similar to form a department. Therefore, an organisational structure refers to the forms of departments.


1. Unity of objectives
Every part or department must contribute towards attaining the enterprise objectives

2. The principle of continuity
The departments created should be those that will be in existence for a long time, to allow for long term planning.

3. The principle of flexibility
The structures created should be flexible to allow for restructuring where some departments would be dissolved and merged with others.

4. The principle of simplicity
The structures chosen should have minimum number of levels for easy decision making and to avoid confusion.

By the end of the topic you should be able to:
1. State the principles of organizing
2. Discuss the organizational structures that are easily available in companies
3. State the factors that are considered in choosing the span of management
5. The principle of delegation
It states that authority and tasks can be shared with the subordinates. Delegation is from top to bottom.
6. The principle of unity of command
It states that subordinates should not take instructions and orders from more than one person because that causes conflicts and frustrations
7. Scalar principle
It states that at least one manager should have ultimate authority to overrule decisions taken by other managers and solve interdepartmental conflicts.
8. The principle of span of control
This is where an organization plans on how many people or workers can one manager effectively manage.

Factors influencing the span of control or management
1. The manager’s personality
If they have a strong need for power they will prefer a wider span but those who are threatened because they can’t oversee the activities of many workers and therefore a narrower span would be chosen.
2. Manager’s capability
Experienced, well brained and knowledgeable managers are able to handle large groups and therefore a wider span and vice-versa.
3. Subordinate’s capability
Experienced and well brained subordinates will resolve difficulties by themselves and there’s no need for a manager and hence a wider span will be chosen.
4. Fatigue tolerance
Physical and mental fatigue may lead the managers’ capacity for control and therefore a narrower span and vice-versa.
5. Non supervisory Activities
If managers spend more time on non-supervisory activities like long range planning and outside assignments that make them have less time to supervise the workers, that limits span hence a narrower span and vice-versa.
6. Similarity of Activities
If the tasks are routine-like then a manager can manage more subordinates and therefore a wider span and vice-versa.
7. Location
If subordinates are widely dispersed and more time is required in traveling, a narrower span will be chosen and vice-versa.



This is where a department is named from the function it executes e.g. Marketing, HR, purchasing. Examination e.t.c

Advantages of functional structure.

  1. It leads to specialization.
  2. It reduces conflicts within the organization.
  3. It leads to better utilization of resources.
  4. Career and promotion paths are created.
  5. It reduces confusion to the clients who want to see and have their problems sorted out by different departments.

Disadvantages of Functional Structure

  1. Departments might deviate from organizational goals and act independently.
  2. Decision making takes a long time (if somebody is not there).
  3. There is lack of coordination.
  4. Specialization can lead to breakdown particularly if one department is not functioning.
  5. There are functional conflicts especially if departments are competing for scarce resources.

This is where a department is named after a particular product particularly in a company where more than one product is produced e.g. Coca-Cola Company has many departments: – Fanta – Dept – Coke dept etc -Krest dept – Sprite dept

Advantages of product line structure

  1. There is good coordination within a specific product group.
  2. It leads to innovation and creativity that they keep improving on the product.
  3. There are fewer communication problems.
  4. It enables product groups to concentrate on their products and improve on quality and marketing.
  5. It leads in specialization of men and machines.

Disadvantages of product line structure

  1. If one product lets down a consumer, all other products will be rejected.
  2. Individuals division could be in conflict due to competition of scarce resources.
  3. Wastage levels are high due to duplication of resources, for instance, each section having a marketing manager and advertises differently.
  4. Inefficiency by one division head may cause the whole production line to come down.
  5. It is difficult to maintain coordination among the product areas.

This is where goods and services are provided over a wide area and a communication channel justifies this form of departmentation. It is where more branches are opened within more geographical locations.

Advantages of geographical based structure
1. The company is able to cater for wide markets.
2. The customers get what they really want because the organization is involved in the local environment.
3. The cost of operation are low.
4. It provides a good training ground for managers.
5. The knowledge of local conditions helps in decision making and therefore helps the company to earn good will.

Disadvantages of geographical based structure
1. It is costly to implement.
2. It is difficult to coordinate.
3. Some branches may deviate from original goals and act independently
4. It is difficult to maintain the original culture of the head office.

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