It is not easy to describe, in a positive manner, what constitutes a `good’ or an effective organisation structure. However, the negative effects of a poorly designed structure can be identified more easily. In his discussion on the principles of organisation and co-ordination, Urwick suggests that: `Lack of design is Illogical, Cruel, Wasteful and Inefficient’.
It is illogical because in good social practice, as in good engineering practice, design should come first. No member of the organisation should be appointed to a senior position without identification of the responsibilities and relationships attached to that position and its role within the social pattern of the organisation.
It is cruel because it is the individual members of the organisation who suffer most from lack of design. If members are appointed to the organisation without a clear definition of their duties or the qualifications required to perform those duties, it is these members who are likely to be blamed for poor results which do not match the vague ideas of what was expected of them.
It is wasteful because if jobs are not put together along the lines of functional specialisation then new members of the organisation cannot be trained effectively to take over these jobs. If jobs have to be fitted to members of the organisation, rather than members of the organisation to jobs, then every new member has to be trained in such a way so as to aim to replace the special, personal experience of the previous job incumbent. Where both the requirements of the job and the member of the organisation are unknown quantities this is likely to lead to indecision and much time wasted in ineffective discussion.
It is inefficient because if the organisation is not founded on principles, managers are forced to fall back on personalities. Unless there are clearly established principles, which are understood by everyone in the organisation, managers will start `playing politics’ in matters of promotion and.
Urwick lays emphasis on the technical planning of the organisation and determining and laying out structure before giving any thought to the individual members of the organisation. Although Urwick acknowledges that the personal touch is important, and part of the obvious duty of the manager, it is not a substitute for the need for definite planning of the structure. `In short, a very large proportion of the friction and confusion in some societies, with its manifest consequences in human suffering, may be traced back directly to faulty organisation in the structural sense. Republic of Zimbabwe, for example.