Corporate structure

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The corporate structure , i.e. the organizational structure in the business sense, represents the system of competencies available in a company. It encompasses both the aspects of vertical organizational design, which are referred to as structural organization , and those of horizontal coordination, the so-called process organization . The implementation of the division of labor and specialization advantages is decisive for the design of the corporate structure . A suitable form of the organizational structure serves to achieve the company's goals and in this sense supports the generation of competitive advantages - i.e. the realization of differentiation or cost advantages .

Structural organizational parameters

The organizational structure maps the hierarchical structure of a company by specifying different levels with different decision-making and issuing authority and outlining the ideal flow of information . In the classic understanding of organization according to Chandler ("structure follows strategy"), the organizational structure serves to implement the strategy. Even if this point of view cannot be clearly maintained in scientific discourse, a fundamental correspondence between structure and strategy must nonetheless be guaranteed.

At the beginning of the decision on the organizational structure, there is the question of which tasks are to be taken on within the company and which activities can be outsourced in order to save costs or gain specialization advantages. This classic “make-or-buy” scenario with regard to the division of labor is followed by the decision on a suitable form of job and department formation when designing the organizational structures . Here, too, the aim is to achieve either unit cost or differentiation advantages through a suitable degree of structure. For this purpose, job creation enables not only the specialization of individual positions but also the use of synergies between the positions . When creating a department, however, the effects of scale , capacity utilization, learning and control come into play.

At the same time, however, the hierarchical structure also creates coordination, control and cooperation problems that inhibit the generation of competitive advantages.

Process organizational parameters

The process organization regulates the spatial and temporal use of the organizational components (material resources and people) and thus has a significantly less static contribution to the corporate structure than the often unchangeable order of the organizational structure. Only for recurring routine processes does it make sense to establish rigid rules, otherwise the process organization is based on dynamic work processes.

In addition to the diverse task-related processes in companies, which mainly serve to reduce complexity and standardize , there are also some process-organizational approaches to do justice to the hierarchically-related problems of coordination, control and cooperation.

For this purpose, the problem of coordination between the various levels can be countered by rules , routines and instructions that specify the processes themselves. In addition, however, it is also possible to minimize the coordination effort as a whole through self-organization . With regard to external partners, pricing can also have a coordinative effect. Another approach to solving coordinative problems is modularization , in which the organizational units are used flexibly in order to ensure better allocation and utilization than in the classic structure of the organizational structure.

The problem of control between the organizational components is countered on the one hand by a suitable degree of hierarchy itself, which guarantees an adequate management margin. On the other hand, bureaucratic measures help to align activities with the goals and to prevent undesired actions.

In the cooperation between the existing organizational units, both intrinsic and extrinsic motivational measures ultimately serve to overcome problems. In the extrinsic sense, this means ensuring financial incentives for the people involved, which compensate for the elimination of problems in mutual interaction. In the intrinsic sense, it is above all common values ​​that promote cooperation. These are primarily determined by the corporate culture in the internal sense or the corporate identity in the external sense.

See also


  • Harald Hungenberg: Strategic Management in Companies. Goals - Processes - Procedures. 8th edition. Springer Gabler, Wiesbaden 2014, ISBN 978-3658066802 .
  • Martin K. Welge, Andreas Al-Laham and Marc Eulerich: Strategic Management. Basics - Process - Implementation. 7th edition. Springer Gabler, Wiesbaden 2017, ISBN 978-3658106478 .
  • Robert M. Grant, Michael Nippa: Strategic Management. Analysis, development and implementation of corporate strategies. 5th edition. Pearson Studies, Munich 2006, ISBN 978-3827372208 .
  • Gareth R. Jones, Ricarda B. Bouncken: Organization: Theory, Design and Change. 5th edition. Pearson Studium, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3827373014 .
  • Daniel Marek: organizational design. A process model for companies in the new world of work. Springer Gabler, Wiesbaden 2017, ISBN 978-3658160463 .