Logo Logo

Size, Technology, Complexity, and Structural Differentiation: Toward a Theoretical Synthesis, Administrative Science Quarterly

Abstract

This paper proposes a theoretical synthesis of the concepts of organizational size, technology, complexity, and structural differentiation. It suggests and finds that the most important determinant of differentiation in the division of labor is the scope of an organization's task, a technological dimension, and not organizational size. Neither horizontal nor vertical differentiation is thought to be determined by size while the scope of the task is proposed as a determinant of horizontal differentiation. The findings, however, support only the inference of a moderate causal connection between either size or task scope and either form of differentiation. Throughout the analysis and discussion the contrast between causal inference based on associations of levels and change rates is discussed. When dealing with the organizational processes addressed in this paper, both associations must be examined to adequately portray the complexity of the causal processes inferred.

Type

Article

Author(s)

Robert Dewar, Jerald Hage

Date Published

1978

Citations

Dewar, Robert, and Jerald Hage. 1978. Size, Technology, Complexity, and Structural Differentiation: Toward a Theoretical Synthesis. Administrative Science Quarterly. 23(1): 111-136.

KELLOGG INSIGHT

Explore leading research and ideas

Find articles, podcast episodes, and videos that spark ideas in lifelong learners, and inspire those looking to advance in their careers.
learn more

COURSE CATALOG

Review Courses & Schedules

Access information about specific courses and their schedules by viewing the interactive course scheduler tool.
LEARN MORE

DEGREE PROGRAMS

Discover the path to your goals

Whether you choose our Full-Time, Part-Time or Executive MBA program, you’ll enjoy the same unparalleled education, exceptional faculty and distinctive culture.
learn more