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