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Self-Determination Theory and Organizational Structures

Executive Summary

Mintzberg coined several organizational structures, such as simple, machine bureaucracy, and professional bureaucracy, which play a significant role in the management and operations of organizations. The basic structure includes the strategic apex wielding authority, direct supervision, and vertical and horizontal centralization components. Institutions such as school districts are examples of this. The technostructure, which includes HRM, finance, and marketing teams, is a critical component of the machine bureaucracy structure, which uses uniformity of work routines as its principal coordinating formula and contains little horizontal decentralization. Companies that make automobiles have such systems in place to standardize operations. The operational core is a critical component of professional bureaucracy, which uses skill improvement as its primary coordinating formula and integrates vertical and horizontal decentralization. Due to the large number of experts involved, hospitals primarily adopt such structures. Human resources play a significant role in all structures in various capacities regarding job enlargement, enrichment, motivation, skill growth, and autonomy. Autonomy, competency, and relatedness are crucial psychological needs. Autonomy can be achieved through self-management, flexibility, and self-management. Competency can be enhanced through recognition, skill development, and a learning environment. Relatedness is fostered through teamwork through open communication, common goals, risk-taking, and tolerance within employees.

Q1 Mintzberg Organizational Structures

Simple structure

The simple structure entails power being owned by the strategic apex, direct supervision, and with components of vertical and horizontal centralization. In this type of organization, the basic form of power is centralized and typically authoritarian since it usually radiates from the strategic apex made up of senior executives and managers (Lunenburg 2012). Organization management is often exercised by the director or a small central management team. Small and medium enterprises, newly launched government agencies, medium-size retail establishments, and school districts are examples of simple-structured organizations. The operative core of the company consists of the top management and a few staff members (Kumar 2015). There is no defined structure, and support for personnel is often minimal, with employees doing more duties. Teachers and administrators in the Binya School District in New South Wales, for example, must take on many of the responsibilities that senior managers oversee, while support personnel carry out the majority of the responsibilities rolled out (Jacques 2017). In a small city school system like Binya, the district education director serves as both the lead superintendent and the headmaster of a specific school. He is generally assisted by a small board to control the district, and he directs the duties, roles, and responsibilities of the school operations.

Human resources in a simple structure are usually not well organized or defined. However, the strategic apex, which is usually the overseer of the workforce, is required to provide support to the operating core through job enrichment, promotions, active participation, technical assistance, and rewards. HRM coordinates performance management as a tool to identify well-performing employees for promotions and other rewards (Cappelli & Tavis 2016). Employee motivation in simple structures, especially for startup SMEs, needs to be adopted for workers through rewards and well-defined job contracts to ensure retention. Technical support through adequate technology enables simple, structured organizations to operate efficiently and ensure high performance despite the size of the firm and number of employees.

Machine Bureaucracy

In this type of structure, the technostructure involving teams in HRM, financing, and marketing is a crucial component of the organization, which leverages uniformity of work procedures as its primary coordination formula and incorporates little horizontal decentralization (Lunenburg 2012). Most of the qualities of perfect bureaucracy and mechanical organization are found in this structure. It features a high level of coordination and task specialization, as well as centralized decision-making. There is hierarchal management since the organization is large, with several sectional chains of command running from executive management to the subordinates (Mintzberg 1981). There is no horizontal or lateral cooperation required. Machine bureaucracy also has a huge technological infrastructure and a huge support workforce. Automobile manufacturing, steel firms, and national government institutions mainly embrace this structure. For instance, Tesla, for instance, entails such things as an organization due to its global presence in Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia. The structure works adequately since operations are standardized to ensure Model S cars produced in Europe are similar and of high quality to those in America (Hull & Pogkas 2019). In this light, machine bureaucracy operates in a steady environment with the purpose of increasing internal efficacy in operations.

Since the organization is large, HRM in this structure is well defined and mainly tasked with the coordination of operations and uniformity of performance in various branches. Job enrichment through skill enhancement is a critical requirement as employees need to keep up with technological advancements (Stone et al. 2015). Financial, technical, and skill support is usually required in such corporations, with human resource managers in different regions cooperating with the headquarters to ensure that their branches and plants are well equipped for continuous and high production.

Professional Bureaucracy

In a professional bureaucracy, the operational core is a crucial component that leverages skill enhancement as its primary coordination formula and incorporates vertical and horizontal decentralization (Lunenburg 2012). Because the professional organization employs a large number of well-educated individuals, the vital point is in the operating core. The organization is typically regimented, yet it is dispersed to offer professional and expert autonomy. Clients receive services from highly qualified personnel (Kumar 2015). Since the technology is often modest, senior management is not large, and there are usually a few intermediate managers. The support staff, on the other hand, is usually rather substantial in order to offer adequate maintenance assistance for the professional operational core. Organizations with this type of structure are hospitals, universities, and large advocacy firms. The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne is a forerunner in this type of structure. The operating core made up of doctors, nurses, clinicians, and laboratory technicians are the most critical for quality service delivery (Alfred Health 2022). Support staff such as cleaners ensure that the hospital maintains high levels of hygiene, enabling physicians and nurses to work optimally.

Human resource requirements in this structure encompass encouraging teamwork among professionals and supporting extensive career development opportunities for the attainment of high skills and professionalism. The provision of autonomy, especially in organizations such as hospitals, is a huge task for HRM to promote to ensure professionals provide quality services to customers and maintain brand reputation (Acosta-Prado et al., 2020). Moreover, job rotation in such organizations is relevant to avoid the monotony of tasks and ensure that workers are not overwhelmed by the various tasks handed to them.

Q2. Self-Determination Theory: Psychological Needs

According to self-determination theory, every human being has three core psychological requirements that underpin personal growth and include autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Autonomy refers to the sensation of having control over one’s actions and freely approving them. Feeling driven or dominated by feelings in an individual’s actions is the polar opposite. Competence is defined as the feeling of mastery and effectiveness in one’s chosen occupation. The yearning to feel connected and a sense of belonging to others is referred to as relatedness.


As a human resource manager, I would ensure autonomy through personalized space, flexibility, and self-management. Enabling workers to choose and make decisions on how, when, and where they work efficiently will aid in becoming managers of their profession and fulfilling their need for autonomy in the organization (Martela & Riekki 2018). Employees’ self-management will be implemented by allowing them to set their own timetables, improve their skills, and actions determine the path of the tasks and roles in which they are engaged. In terms of flexibility, I would make sure that employees are aware of their optimal working hours and encourage them to work during such periods for optimal performance. Some individuals find it hard to adjust to a rigid 8–5 schedule, while others may prefer to come in earlier in the morning (Van de Broeck et al. 2010). Hence, allowing flexible hours would be on my agenda, and workers would have the free will to choose working hours according to organizational timelines and their models of working.


In an atmosphere where competency is fostered, supportive work settings will automatically have high levels of productivity. I would meet employees’ psychological needs for competency by giving them regular feedback, acknowledging their accomplishments, and presenting them with new challenges (Van de Broeck et al. 2010). On this point, meaningful acknowledgement would be implemented in the sense that when a worker achieves work goals, I will publicly congratulate them. I would also identify when someone improves on performance since individuals desire to have their small achievements noted and recognized. Another technique is to offer continual growth opportunities, which would encourage regular productivity via frequent professional challenges (Martela & Riekki 2018). Through training, counselling, and opportunities to educate and lead teams, I would provide employees with the tools they need to enhance their abilities and learn new subjects for better growth.

Innovation is another significant aspect of accomplishing competency. Enabling idea generation in each individual area of expertise is critical for ensuring innovation is attained across various departments. I would make sure that the company fosters a culture of learning by allowing people to experiment, test hypotheses, and lead exploration journeys without fear of being judged or demoralized (Van de Broeck et al. 2010, p. 1). Creating a safe space for creativity and engagement in a self-motivated environment for knowledge acquisition on a daily basis would be an imperative aspect for the firm.


Workplace relatedness, often known as connectedness, is an important aspect of employee involvement. Humans are deemed social beings, and building good relationships is essential for their psychological health and successful teamwork. Due to such relatedness, teams are more involved and share common ideals, and being a part of one fosters creativity and high levels of performance due to such relatedness (Van de Broeck et al. 2010). I would boost that relationship by fostering an environment where employees feel free to take chances and make errors. As a leader, I would also allow team members to speak their minds and encourage regular feedback and communication for successful relationships. I would also be a caring leader as an HR manager by providing regular opportunities for feedback and ensuring people communicate openly. This would give the impression that other team members can rely on the individual, allowing them to connect more. Since relatedness is about self-identification as a team, I would also insist on teams having shared objectives (Martela & Riekki 2018). Setting and reflecting on group goals on a regular basis is a fantastic approach to ensure that everyone has a shared feeling of belonging and purpose. Every employee should understand how their roles contribute to the larger group’s project. This will allow every team member to work collaboratively and realize the significance of their efforts.


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