Types of organisation

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Types of organisation
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Methods and techniques

The basic types of organisation are:

  • formal organisation which has complex, normative action and behaviour patterns specific to organization members connected with official procedures, division of labour, hierarchic system and communication methods. Features: official, impersonal, hierarchic, functional specialization, formalization.
  • informal organisation is mostly build from personal and social relationships which will not be determine by regulations or status. Features: action flexibility, direct contact, unlimited duration.

Organizations can also be divided into:

  • voluntary organisations – people can voluntarily join or leave them, for instance: foundations, committees, associations,
  • compulsory organisations – separate their members form the society and strictly control adherence to specific behaviour, for instance: prisoners, patients of mental hospitals, soldiers,
  • utilitarian organisations – people join its hierarchic structure because of certain intentions or the future profits which may receive, for instance: companies, education systems, trade unions.

Organisation as a system

Organisation is the system made up of people and technical resources, materials, whose interaction is characterized by:

  • presence of clearly defined goals of the system,
  • correspondence between the structure and functions of the system,
  • interdependence of the system and its environment,
  • interdependence between system elements,
  • autonomy to decide and direct own actions.

The term “organization” comes from Greek word organizo which means to create the harmonious and orderly whole. The organization is formed and developed by people who cooperate in order to achieve established goals. The basic organization components are: people, aims and resources. Organizations with help of employees (people) try to accomplish specific aims, using various resources (strengths and weaknesses of the organization). The organization as specific system, operates in certain environment.

Meaning of the term organisation

  • As an attribute - special kind of relationship between various elements to each other and to a whole, based on the fact that all parts acts to achieve goals of a whole,
  • As a thing - concrete object having above mentioned attributes (eg. team of people, company, research institute),
  • As a function - activity based on the ability to select, acquire and transform various resources and organizational units themselves towards achieving particular goal.

Characteristics of organisations

Each organization has:

  • common aim specific for whole organization and its employees,
  • border which separates organization from surroundings,
  • leadership which regulates relationships between members and organization structure,
  • organizational culture – values, standards and rules which regulate organization members behaviour, for instance: joining, participation and leaving the organization,
  • organizational structure – internal system and arrangement of organization components,
  • cooperation between certain organization members and organization components for achieving goals.

Above mentioned features determine type of organisation and dependencies between elements of complex organizational system.

See also:


  • Barnard, C. I., & Thompson, K. (2003). Organization and management: Selected papers (Vol. 7). Psychology Press.
  • Garvin, D. A. (1998). The processes of organization and management. MIT Sloan Management Review, 39(4), 33.
  • Kast, R. E., & Rosenzweig, J. E. (1974). Organization and management. New York.
  • Likert, R. (1967). The human organization: its management and values.
  • Milgrom, P., & Roberts, J. (1992). Organization and management. Englewood Cliffs.

Author: Krzysztof Wozniak