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Departmentalization, Distribution of Authority, coordination


Departmentalization means grouping activities and people into departments, making it possible to expand organizations, at least in theory, to an indefinite degree.

Departmentalization refers to the formal structure of the organization, composed of various departments and managerial positions and their relationships with each other.

As an organization grows, its departments grow and more sub-units are created, which in turn add more levels of management.

This often creates less flexibility, adaptability, and units of action within the firm.

Departmentalization is the efficient and effective grouping of jobs into meaningful work units to coordinate numerous jobs—all for the expeditious accomplishment of the organization’s objectives.

Two particular things need to consider before setting the formal structure of the organization or the Departmentalization.

They are; basic organizational units and coordinating structure.

Types of Departmentalization

Departmentalization results from the division of work and the desire to obtain organization units of manageable size and to utilize managerial ability.

An organization structure and design are shaped significantly by the Departmentalization followed.

The means of Departmentalization are by-

  1. Functional Departmentalization.
  2. Departmentalization by Territory.
  3. Departmentalization of organization by customer group.
  4. Matrix departmentalization.
  5. Planning Task Force.

An organizer is free to use any means of departmentalization in constructing an organization structure. In fact, in any given structure several means are typically used.

  1. Functional Departmentalization

Functional departmentalization groups together jobs which are involving the same or similar activities. It allows the organization to staff all important positions with functional experts and facilitates coordination and integration.

  1. Departmentalization by Territory

Departmentalization by Territory method is followed where; unless to local conditions appears to offer advantages, such as low cost of operation and opportunities to capitalize on attractive local conditions as they arise.

Territorial departmentalization is especially popular for sales where division appears feasible according to some geographic market segregation.

  1. Departmentalization of organization by customer group

Customer departmentalization is where the organization’s activities are ready to respond to and interact with specific customers or customer groups.

This organizational form is used when great emphasis is placed on effectively serving different customer types.

  1. Matrix Departmentalization

Matrix departmentalization attempts to combine functional and task force (project) departmentalization designs to improve the synchronization of multiple components for a single activity (i.e., a moon launch), to improve the economics of scale, and to better serve the customer and company.

  1. Planning Task Force

Planning task force is most often formed when the organization requires addressing special circumstances. It is more preferable, and efficient than maintaining a different planning staff or department.


It is very important for authority to be distributed in organizations; many times it is done by decentralization or delegation. Decentralization, distribution or the diffusion of authority is key in getting the entire team involved; which is the dispersal of authority of decision-making to the lower level management; the necessity of decentralization of parts of a group project  are performed at functional departmental level; thus, when authority is dispersed, decentralization is present.

Authority is also distributed through delegation. The key to effective delegation of tasks is the transference of decision-making authority and responsibility from one level of the organization to the level to which the tasks have been delegated. A manager who shares power and authority will be the one with the greatest ability to influence others to work toward the goals of the organization. Authority is sometimes equated with legitimate power. Authority and power and how these elements are interrelated can explain the elements of managing and their effectiveness. What is critical is how subordinates perceive a manager’s legitimacy. Legitimate authority occurs when people use power for good and have acquired power by proper and honest means. When people perceive an attempt at influence as legitimate, they recognize it and willingly comply. Power acquired through improper means, such as lying, withholding information, gossip, or manipulation, is seen as illegitimate. When people perceive the authority of others as illegitimate, they are less likely to willingly comply. The misuse of power and authority can lead to disruptive behaviors that will impede the progress and success of any project. Therefore, for any manager to achieve the uttermost out of their employees, they must be cognizant of the fact that people are different in many ways. Employees have different sexual orientation, religious beliefs, ethnic and cultural difference, political affiliation, class, economic, and educational differences.  A manager’s ability to interact with people from different worlds with respect, empathy, and clarity is essential to attaining the company’s goals. A great leader or manager possesses good communication and interpersonal skills. When a leader is charged with the responsibility to distribute authority or delegate certain functions it is also important to be respectful to your employees or peers. The misuse of power and authority can lead to disruptive behaviors that will impede the progress and success of any project.


Co-ordination is the unification, integration, synchronization of the efforts of group members so as to provide unity of action in the pursuit of common goals. It is a hidden force which binds all the other functions of management. According to Mooney and Reelay, “Co-ordination is orderly arrangement of group efforts to provide unity of action in the pursuit of common goals”. According to Charles Worth, “Co-ordination is the integration of several parts into an orderly hole to achieve the purpose of understanding”.

Management seeks to achieve co-ordination through its basic functions of planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling. That is why, co-ordination is not a separate function of management because achieving of harmony between individuals efforts towards achievement of group goals is a key to success of management. Co-ordination is the essence of management and is implicit and inherent in all functions of management.

A manager can be compared to an orchestra conductor since both of them have to create rhythm and unity in the activities of group members. Co-ordination is an integral element or ingredient of all the managerial functions as discussed below: –

(i) Co-ordination through Planning: Planning facilitates co-ordination by integrating the various plans through mutual discussion, exchange of ideas. e.g. – co-ordination between finance budget and purchases budget.

(ii) Co-ordination through Organizing: Mooney considers co-ordination as the very essence of organizing. In fact when a manager groups and assigns various activities to subordinates, and when he creates department’s co-ordination uppermost in his mind.

(iii) Co-ordination through Staffing: A manager should bear in mind that the right no. of personnel in various positions with right type of education and skills are taken which will ensure right men on the right job.

(iv) Co-ordination through Directing: The purpose of giving orders, instructions & guidance to the subordinates is served only when there is a harmony between superiors & subordinates.

(v) Co-ordination through Controlling: Manager ensures that there should be co-ordination between actual performance & standard performance to achieve organizational goals.

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