September 14: Organizational Structure and Technology
ChatGPT on Integration and Differentiation: The difference between differentiation and integration is that differentiation is about dividing the organization into specialized parts, while integration is about connecting those parts to work together. Differentiation creates diversity and complexity, while integration creates unity and coordination.
I would recommend a refresher on technology in James Thompson, Organizations in Action that we read in POL 602. Here is a rather decent refresher from ChatGPT. James Thompson's Technology Construct in Organizations in Action is a framework for understanding how organizations deal with uncertainty and interdependence in their environments. Thompson argued that organizations can be classified according to their “technologies” (the methods and processes used to transform inputs into outputs) and their “environments” (the sources of uncertainty and variability that affect the organization's performance).
Thompson identified three types of technologies: “long-linked”, “mediating”, and “intensive”. Long-linked technologies involve sequential and standardized tasks that can be performed independently of the environment. Mediating technologies involve connecting different parties or resources that are compatible with each other. Intensive technologies involve customized and complex tasks that require constant interaction with the environment.
Tushman, Michael L. and Wendy Smith. 2005. Organizational technology. In J.A.C. Baum (Ed.) The Blackwell Companion to Organizations: 386-395