Tradeoffs in macro organization designs.

Following control, cooperation, and autonomy, different variable weight creates different effects:

  • More control than cooperation creates more consistent operations.
    • Less, more innovation.
  • More cooperation than autonomy creates synergy between units.
    • Less, accountability is improved.
  • More control than autonomy increases the presence of the global perspective.
    • Less, decisions are made closer to the action.
  • Autonmous organizations have self-sufficient units.
  • Controlled organizations are bureaucracies, franchies, or vertically integrated.
  • Cooperative organizations have project-based, and/or horizontally integrated teams.
  • Matrix organizations combine input (control) with output (autonomy) in a way where both leaders must cooperate.

The organization’s function suggests an ideal solution space for its operations.


  1. Robert W Keidel, Seeing Organizational Patterns: A New Theory and Language of Organizational Design (Washington, D.C.: Beard Books, 2005). (See notes.)