Organic Organizations and Mechanistic Organizations

Learning Management Styles – The Difference Between Organic and Mechanistic Organizations

A common thread running through the success of most modern businesses is the use of both mechanistic and organic approaches to their marketing strategy. However, with more companies turning towards mechanistic solutions in their production processes, many organic organizations are also looking to mechanize their own marketing structure as well. This begs the question: What is the difference between a mechanized marketing plan and an organic one? Why should organizations that utilize mechanized tools choose to implement a structured marketing strategy over one that is organic? To better understand the answer to these questions, it is beneficial to examine the various differences between the two.

The Distinction Between Mechanized And Organic

Basically, mechanized tools and equipment provide a method for organizations to increase their capacity to produce on a larger scale, while organic production methods have historically focused on increasing food production per unit of input. For example, if you buy Instagram likes, your approach is more mechanistic than that of an organization that depends on SEO to gain an online presence. Organisms have traditionally been valued for their ability to maintain productivity, resilience, and adaptability. Because of this, organic organization’s structures have traditionally sought to employ as many natural organisms as possible to improve upon their production process.

Mechanized tools increase the speed at which raw materials can be moved to the production line, but they do so by demoting the position of the producer to that of a warehouse clerk instead of a producer. Organic organization structures seek to reverse this trend by encouraging the cultivation of relationships within the actual field of production itself instead of relying on shipping and storage partners.

Difference Between Organic Organizations and Mechanistic Organizations

Flexible Modular Design

Although there are a number of similarities between the two types of organizations, there are also some key differences. Organic field strategies generally make use of a flexible modular design that allows for a high degree of customization.

Modular units are assembled according to strict factory-type designs that are almost universally accepted. Since modularity is often viewed as a crucial element in improving efficiency and reducing labor costs, organic field strategies also make use of strict job specialization.

The Difference At The Individual Level

One of the primary differences between the two types of organization occurs at the level of the individual employee. In a mechanistic organization, production is mechanized throughout the process of product production. Goods are manufactured in an ordered and repeatable fashion. Goods are standardized in size, shape, color, and material. In this type of organization, there is very little room for creativity or innovation. Ordering is, therefore, the only way to increase the variety of goods produced and the flexibility of process designs.

On the other hand, organic field strategies do not use the forms of customization inherent in a mechanistic structure. Organic organizations place a great emphasis on the importance of talented people to drive the organizational growth process forward. Organizational functions such as marketing, research, and development are considered to be basic functions that must be supported by highly skilled people. Thus, an organic strategy does not make use of a standardized form of management; rather, talented people in the field are responsible for achieving business objectives.

Focus Of Attention

Another key difference between the two models relates to the focus of attention within both types of structures. Mechanistic and organic organizations operate through a system of relatively fixed processes with predetermined levels of performance tolerances.

Learning institutions, by contrast, focus on processes and environments that foster spontaneous innovation. Thus, organic learning organizations often take on more complex projects than their more mechanistic counterparts.

Flexibility And Adaptability

Mechanistic structures also lack flexibility. Rather than being capable of rapidly adapting to changing external conditions and circumstances, they are designed to function in one predetermined manner. This allows the organization to be highly effective in one geographic location but less successful in others. On the other hand, organic learning organizations tend to be highly localized in nature and place considerable emphasis on local expertise. As a result, they may be successful in a given environment but less likely to thrive elsewhere.

Organic Organizations and Mechanistic Organizations

The organizational design relies heavily on the ability of people to adapt. Thus, it can be highly adaptive if people are given ample opportunities to learn and experience new experiences. Mechanistic and organic organizations cannot provide this setting. In their efforts to be highly flexible, they limit themselves to their own conventions and norms and, as a by-product, create limited learning opportunities for their members. Learning, then, tends to be highly ineffective, even when it occurs among members who know the most about what is happening within their organization.

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