Henry Mintzberg created five organizational configurations that act a framework to understand and design organizational structures. First of all, he stated that each configuration has 6 components:
Based on the importance of the components, coordinating mechanisms and design decisions (design of decision making, lateral linkages, superstructure and positions), five structural configurations were established:
- Simple Structure: The major coordinating mechanism used here is direct supervision. The key component of the organization in this case would be the strategic apex, and vertical and horizontal centralization is incorporated in this configuration.
- Machine bureaucracy: The coordinating mechanism here is standardization of work processes. The key component of the organization here would be the technostructure and limited horizontal decentralization is used.
- Professional bureaucracy: Standardization of skills is the coordinating mechanism in this configuration. The operating core forms the key component and both vertical and horizontal decentralization is used.
- Divisionalized form: Standardization of outputs is the coordinating mechanism and the key component is the middle line. It is characterized by limited vertical decentralization.
- Adhocracy: Mutual adjustment is the coordinating mechanism in this configuration. The support staff (in an administrative adhocracy) or the operating core (in an operating adhocracy) forms the key component. Selective decentralization is used in this case.