Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Discussion Question 10. Strategy and Structure

Does “strategy follows structure" or is it “the structure that follows the strategy” in organizations? Why?


  1. In my opinion,Strategy and structure are married to each other. If you change one you have to change the other.Structure is not simply an organization chart. Structure is all the people, positions, procedures, processes, culture, technology and related elements that comprise the organization. It defines how all the pieces, parts and processes work together (or don’t in some cases). This structure must be totally integrated with strategy for the organization to achieve its mission and goals. Structure supports strategy.
    If an organization changes its strategy, it must change its structure to support the new strategy. When it doesn’t, the structure acts like a bungee cord and pulls the organization back to its old strategy. Strategy follows structure. What the organization does defines the strategy. Changing strategy means changing what everyone in the organization does.
    When an organization changes its structure and not its strategy, the strategy will change to fit the new structure. Strategy follows structure. Suddenly management realizes the organization’s strategy has shifted in an undesirable way. It appears to have done it on its own. In reality, an organization’s structure is a powerful force. You can’t direct it to do something for any length of time unless the structure is capable of supporting that strategy.

    1. Thank you for helping me to understand this a little better To me they both go hand and hand as you so eloquently put it.

  2. In my opinion strategy has to follow structure. my argument is based on the time and money. It is known that preparation of organizational structure and strategy formulation is worth of financial & time resources. Organizational structure is most of the time is prepared when the organization is start its operations and then through time it may be amended if it requires. But strategy is prepared frequently and it cost the organization a huge amount of financial & time resources than preparation of organizational structure.
    Therefore, organizational strategy should follow the structure of the organization, or it should to be formulated in accordance with the organizational structure.

  3. After reading the definition for strategy by Michael Porter at Harvard "an integrated set of actions that a company designs to produce a sustainable competitive advantage and thus attain superior performance." i agreed that structure should follow strategy.

    A strategy should contain three major elements: a look at the future (anticipation), a look at today (awareness), and a focus on what should be done (action). The act of looking ahead and predicting trends may be very useful in determining directions and structures.

    For example, if you predict that the economy will get stronger in the next few months, you may decide that hiring a few people into a central group to start doing sourcing makes a lot of sense. It is also critical to know how you are doing today and make changes to direction and structure, as needed, based on current feedback.

    2.Match the structure to the strategy.
    3.Beautiful org charts are not important. Ultimately, structure is about the customer.
    4.Structures should be flexible and changeable.

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  4. Structure follows Strategy
    This is to say, all aspects of an organization’s structure, from the creation of divisions and departments to the designation of reporting relationships, should be made while keeping the organization’s strategic intent in mind. Strategy, of course, lines up the grounds and markets in which a company will compete, proclaims a targeted customer base, and asserts the matters by which the company will seek to differentiate itself.
    As you might be acquainted with the issues which are stated on the book regarding with ‘Strategy formulation’, you can came across with the inputs for strategy formulation. This is to mean, before strategy is formulated first of all SWOT analysis must be done.When we say SWOT, S – Strength, W – Weakness, O – Opportunity and T – Threats and after the SWOT analysis is made the strategy of the organization now can be developed definitely. As well as, by taking in to account both i.e., the SWOT analysis and the strategy then the structures of the organization will be made.
    To end with, SWOT analysis → Strategy → Structure. Therefore, structure follows strategy.
    1. As a sheep’s herd go in front of the sheep and
    2. As the right leg followed by left leg thus, similar with this structure also follows strategy.
    By: Biniyam Negash

  5. Actually, it is more or less about dilemma. In my view, I realize that strategy follows structure. Let me define first what structure is to be; it is a systematic network of ones organization through which its operations can be conducted. And, strategy is the way through which ones organization operations are performed in order to pursue its proposed goals and objectives with necessary resource allocation for achievement of goals and objectives, with in developed organizational structure.Thus, from above idea we can conclude that strategy follows structure, because as we can infer from their definition that I tried to define strategy is with in structure of the organization. But, some times we may need strategy in structure and also we may nee structure in strategy. Means, in someway,some thing interdependence may face between them. Eventually, I would like to say the degree that strategy follows structure is more than the degree that structure follows strategy.

  6. Strategy is somewhat flexible than structure. So, organizational structure must be developed and we can change our structure according to the response of the environment.

  7. Strategy is somewhat flexible than structure. So, organizational structure must be developed and we can change our structure according to the response of the environment.

  8. structure follows strategy. because in order to have a structure first we need to have strategy. based on the strategy what we have we can develop organization structure.

  9. strategy should follow structure. Its known that most of the time structure is developed when the organization start its operations and strategy can be designed according to different criterion and conditions.
    For example If some changes are occurs it is difficult to change the structure but the strategy.

  10. in my opinion strategy the structure that follows the strategy because our aim to achieve goal of the organization if it is that first we must put the way or the steps to be taken to achieve the goal after that based on the steps we can design our structure of the organization

  11. Corporate strategy is described as the determination of long-term goals and objectives, the adoption of courses of action and associated allocation of resources required to achieve goals; and structure is the design of the organization through which strategy is administered. Changes in an organization's strategy led to new administrative problems which, in turn, required a new or refashioned structure for the successful implementation of the new strategy. Therefor structure follows strategy!
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