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The concept of organizational structures has been around since the dawn of ancient civilizations, ever since the coordination of large groups of people was needed for things like administration, trade, and the military.

You look back as far as ancient Egypt for instance to see that to construct the pyramids there had to be an organizational structure of architected, engineers, labor coordinators, foreman, and workers.

In Mesopotamia the Code of Hammurabi was the first known written set of laws and in it was a description of a structured society with responsibilities and accountabilities.

In feudal Europe lords managed estates with a clear top down hierarchy overseeing vassals and serfs.

Then came the Industrial Revolution which transformed organizational structured as we focused on mass production and more developed types of structures where managers had to oversee production, workers operating machines, clerks, etc. The official bureaucracy was born! During this time people like Frederick Taylor introduced scientific management, aiming to optimize worker productivity through standardized processes and tasks. Employees would be timed to shave seconds off of t their tasks.

Of course we have seen even more change thanks to advances in technology, changing values and expectations, and a post-pandemic shift towards focusing on people first with things like flexible work. Today many organizations around the world are reevaluating their organizational structures to move away from traditional hierarchies.

What are their options? In the rest of this article available for paid subscribers only, I’ll explore the 5 types of organizations structures and give you a fantastic visual that breaks down the difference between each.

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