The Impact of Organizational Structure on Management Effectiveness in Nigeria

The Impact of Organizational Structure on Management Effectiveness in Nigeria


According to Chester Bernard (pg 165) people, their behaviours and their association belong to a large system or social relationship of which a single formally enterprise is but a subsisted.


Formally organization in words of Chester  Bernard (p.169) exist when the activities of two or more persons are consciously co-ordinate towards  a given objectives. He stated that  the essence of formal organization comes into being when persons are able to communicate with one another and are willing to share a purpose. 

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This formal organization consists of the prescribed organizational positions and their accompanying task and the established specified and intended relationships among the occupants of the positions. Establishment of organization in the formal structure is of great importance  to the organization survival because in the words of winded Brown (1962).

I personally believe that the formalization that exist, the more clearly I know the bond of description which we are authorized to use and will be held responsible for and the described policies make clear to people the area in which they have freedom to act.

Formal organization  relationship emphasized official position in terms of authority and responsibility thus presupposing the creation of different levels of hierarchies within the organization by Pascal G.S.S (1972).


Allen L. (1958) Also distinguished the formal organization from the informal organization and said that any joint personal activities without conscious purpose. Even though possibly contribution of joint result and all manner of group, all within the sphere of informal organization. Including plane load of passengers and people walking down the street. The informal structure develops with framework of formal structure and represents the inter relationship and sentimental of the particular individuals in the organizations.

However, due to the significant nature of the informal organization towards effective management, out attention shall be concentrated on the formal organizational structure in the purpose of this study.


Henvy Fayol, often called, the father of modern management theory, in his book listed fourteen principles, are not absolute but are capable of adoption  according to need. These fourteen principles are given in this order:

a.       Division of work: This reduces the span of attention or effort for any one person or group. Develops practice and familiarity.

b.       Authority:  The right to give order which also counts responsibility.

c.       Discipline:  Out ward marks of respect in accordance with formal or informal agreements between organization and their employers.

d.       Unity of command:        One man is superior

e.       Unity of direction:         One head and one direction for a group of activities  with the same objectives.

f.       Subordinates of individuals interest to  group interest.

g.       Remuneration:      Pay should be fair for first and employees.

h.       Centralization:      The extend to which authority is concentrated.

i.        Scale chair: line of authority from the top to bottom.

j.        order:          A place for everything, the right men in the right place.

k.       Equity:        A combination of and kindness and justices towards employees.

L.      Stability or tenure of personnel

m.      Initiative:    All levels of staff should be encouraged to show initiative.

n.       Espirit de corps: Spirit of team work should be encouraged.

This work was an attempt at producing a theory of management based  on a number of principles, which could be passed  on others. Many of these principles have absorbed into modern organizations and there effect on organizational effectiveness has been subject of increasing debates. Managers theories have expressed similar views on the essence of division of work or labour, and the process of department in the structuring of an organization they also agree that the following factors function and operation territory are where it  in an organization.

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Although Fayol first brought the ideas of span of control in his principles of management this the sears roebuck team of researcher. This research was done in two groups F.B stores (150-175) employees in town of approximately the same size. The purpose of the research was to study the effect of the organizational levels on the enterprise efficiency. In one group, the management organized their store with an assistant manager and some thirty merchandize managers in charge of the department. At the end, analysis revealed that stores with the flat type of organization were superior on all areas to deal with extra level of authority.

The result of these studies therefore suggested that managers with large number of subordinates reporting to then had no alternative than to delegate  authority to those subordinates who were thereby enables to make important decision.

Span of control therefore relates to both the vertical and horizontal dimensions organization structure. The flat organizations based on a wider span of control like the church organization while the full organization military set up or some business organizations. Narrow span has, however been advocated by most classical management writers.

Fredric Wislow Taylor (1949) father of scientific management theory supported this view when he remarked, whatever the rank, a man has only to command a very  small number of subordinates usually less than six, except that a fore man who is dealing with quite a simple operation is in direct command of twenty or thirty men.

This statement was also supported by Urwick  when he said that no superior can directly supervisor the work of more than five or at most six subordinates whose task interlock.

In spite of all these, it appears that arithmetic precision cannot be used to determine the number of  people a manager can supervisor effectively. Since according to MC Lorland, span is a function of the subordinate being supervised, while Hill L added by saying that it vary with the complexity of work involved and the type of  organization concerned.


At this point in time, it is necessary to emphasis on the development of organization structures and their operational tools. We start by looking at works of such authors as koontz O’ Donnel Nerihirch et al (1981).

The aspect of organization structure discussed by Koontz et al which particular attention in this research is the issue of authority as delegated when decision making is rested in a subordinate by a supervisor. Clearly, supervisors cannot delegate authority they do not have whether they are board members, president, vice president or superior. They cannot delegate all their authority without transferring position to their subordinate. They also out live the proves involved in authority delegation include.

a.       The determination of the result expected.

b.       The assignment of tasks

c.       The delegation of authority for accomplishment.


Diverse opinions have been expressed as  to the sources and forms of authority in organization. The classical thoughts on organization views authority as a rigid concept, creation definition chair of command on hierarchy. Thus, it is derived from position holders Fredric Taylor opened that  all authority should be based on knowledge and not position.

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Chester Bernard stated that the sources of authority does not reside in person’s of authority but in the acceptance of the authority by the subordinates.

A contingency approach was adopted by may Parker Follet when she put forward her law of the situation in her view, the situation dictates what ought to be  done not a person or position.

These views have affected exercise of authority by their custodians, but the basic motion  of what authority means in organization have been altered. Hence, the sources of authority  seems to be expressed in the typical view in which managerial right from top of the organization structure down the hierarchy is shown so that each manager has a specific right to actions in the areas designated to him by the management.


It is a major aspect of delegation to create obligations for subordinates for the satisfactory performance of their assignment.

Thrierant R. J (1979) defined responsibility as  the obligations of an  individual to perform assigned duties. Hicks sees it as the duty one has to perform has organization tasks, function one and assignments. From these definition one deduced the fact that responsibility emanates from formal authority granted a subordinates by his supervisor. The acceptance of responsibility is usually associated with delegation of responsibility and assumption of responsibility. It should be wholly transferred to someone else. The manager still retains the full load vested on him in the first instance.

Responsibility may be a continuing process in which ease it flows through the entire organization. The board of directors holds the managing directors  on the  responsibility for the total  operational performance.

The managing director on the other hand holds the various divisional heads responsible for production, marketing, finance and accounting  functions. The process continues, this resulting a series of obligations to be performed at various organizational levels, if a task fails at the lowest level for instance, the superior answers for the failure to the higher level of authority and so up the higher level of authority and so the ladder. Hence, unlike authority, responsibility follows only upwards from bottom.

Therefore, to enhance organization performance, it is necessary that the  scope of activities, in terms of duties takes and responsibilities should be properly defined.


By delegating authority and responsibility the executive creates and maintains the horizontal and vertical units in the organization structure. Hence authority and responsibility are independent and there relationship is essential in the effective performance of and adherence to organization structures. Improper structuring of authority and responsibility relations usually leads to conflicts in organizations.

Early management theories are of the view that delegated authority should be equal responsibility, the argued that a state of inequality between responsibility and delegated authority produces undesirable effects in an organizations. It there is no commensurate authority and responsibility, the individual cannot be accountable for the successful completion of task since the individual has a very title control over the situation.

Revision of the modern management on the other hand disagreed with the idea that authority, responsibility should be equal to the responsibility and authority do not overlap rather the former should exceed the later, and the discrepancy between them in an inevitable fact of life.

Nwandu E.C et al (2000) says that act is the know how to accomplish a desired concrete result which is based upon knowledge and experience not upon a position of hierarchy.

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She further said that attainment of desired goal depends on professional personnel handling the sensitive positions.

Likert R. (1961) asserted that the extent of participation and need is geared up by responsibility towards the value and enhancement of organization results.

Elippo E.B (1980) a formidable structure performs the function of planning, organizing, directing and controlling or procurement, development , integration, maintenance and separation of human resources to the end that individuals, organization and societal objectives are accomplished.

Feyol H (1974) Position of an organization is based on professionalism, that is the right people occupying the right position.

Agbo O.G (2001) Proper planning must be done to get the needed human and material resources and position. These resources judiciously to where they belong and their responsibility.

Drucer P.E (1974) No organization stands without an institutionalized effective structure. This determines the effectiveness of the organization. He also said that it must  base on specialization or professionalization.

Brech E.F.L (1975) organizational structure is necessary or concerned with development and growth of an organization and responsibility of people so that the objective of the organization will be met and adopted with the changing circumstances and conditions.

Giraham H.T (1981) a series of management/organizational activities id determined by the structure of the individual responsibilities to ensure effective performance towards organizational growth.

Mc Gregor D. et al (1974) organizational structure extends to include matters of corporate planning, manpower planning, remuneration and emplpoyee relations.

Mumford Enlid (1969) organizational structure is an agent of change in an organization organizational change is depended on the structural set up.


Since the organizational structure is the framework on an organizations built, the net work of authority and role relationship it helps to harmonize the operational activities, enhancement of friendly atmosphere among workers in the organization and the smooth attainment of the organizational goals objectives.

1.       The organizational structure serves as a guide and also helps to control workers in their activities and actions according to their line of responsibility.

2.       Organizational structure is geared towards encouraging efficiency and effectiveness on business organizations. Every misfortune in business organization is traceable to structure inadequacy.

3.       It encourage division of labour and allocation of responsibility, thereby assigning  job or duties to different workers so as enhance efficiency and effectiveness in the organizational operations.

  1. Elevation of organization to a greater height. This is achieved through the implementation of a viable structure in an organization will be able to attain a very good height and reputation among other organizations.

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