Models of Multiple Branch Organization

by Frederick Balderston



This mathematical study, based on a linear model of the multiple branch organization constructed within a framework of activity analysis, outlines the parameters and postulates three hypotheses in regard to the behavior tendencies of such multibranch organizations. The reaction against attempts to relate structural characteristics to organizational performance is natural in the context of development of contemporary organization, theory. First of all, classical approaches included, among other things, specific rules or norms of organization to achieve specified objectives. Examples are the rules concerning unity of command, span of control, number of organizational levels, etc. In their efforts to emphasize essential functional properties of organizations and to redefine in more general terms the processes of behavior in organizations, several researchers have attacked these classical ideas. Empirical study of multiple-branch organization can be guided by a number of considerations which emerge clearly from the linear model. At the same time, attempts to understand the behavior of such organizations cannot be completely restricted to the things which the model is capable of displaying.

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