Professional Adhocracy, an Appropriate Design for Knowledge Economy in the Light of Mintzberg's Perspective

Professional Adhocracy, an Appropriate Design for Knowledge Economy in the Light of Mintzberg's Perspective

Ali Asghar Pourezzat (University of Tehran, Iran) and Ghazaleh Taheri Attar (Allame Tabatabaei University, Iran)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/jeco.2009100101
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Success in the economy of digital age requires special capabilities. These capacities would be able to make the limited economical resources into valuable products. Among future limitations, limitation of super-specialized and expert human resources is very important and determining. Super-specialized human resources are considered as strategic factors and the structure of future organizations should be designed in a way to best utilize the capability of these resources. Therefore, the main problem of future organizations is exploiting and utilizing the knowledge of super-specialized human resources. In this regard, combining the flexibility of adhocratic organizations and expertise-oriented credit of professional bureaucratic tried to design a relatively appropriate structure in the light of Mintzberg’s perspective in order to succeed in future age or the knowledge-oriented age of digital economy.
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It seems that by gradual development of electronism, the number of virtual organizations will increase and new types of organizations will emerge which have a semi-virtual condition; a condition which will simultaneously provide them with the advantages of ordinary and virtual organizations. These changes will require specialty and expertise which gain importance with the passage of time and ever-growing development of electronism (Stebbins & Shani, 1995). It can be imagined that in these new organizations the importance of “expertise in system designing”, knowledge and skill in “computer sciences” and creativity in creating “new ideas” will increase and their efficiency can not be compared with other specialties.

The value of time and place for organizations will be changed gradually. In the past, the organizations belonged to a place and operated in a definite geographical area (Stebbins & Shani, 1995). However, nowadays by the growing social and global changes, the role of place and space loses its importance, while the role of time is still distinctive and influential.

The group of organization principles which were influenced by geographical and structural variables (Robbins, 1987) gradually fade away so that geographical divisions are no longer the basis of organization. The problem is that in this ever-changing world, the common organizing methods will not be so efficient; therefore, the organizing and division of work methods will totally change, and the organizations will be obliged to combine professional organizations with adhocracies in order to survive in the global competition and the age of digital economy. In this way, organization with the structure of “professional adhocracy” will be formed in response to these emergencies.

The main characteristics of the future organizations and their environments are as following:

  • 1.

    The requirement for very much flexibility in order to survive in a changing and agitated environment (which can be provided by the characteristics of adhocracies);

  • 2.

    Over-reliance on knowledge and information-processing (which can be provided by professional bureaucracies of scientists).

In an ethnographic approach to the combination of human resources of the present organizations, it is understood that the structure of human resource is changing from manual worker to knowledge worker and knowledge personnel are substituting ordinary worker (Drucker, 1988; Davenport & Prusak, 2000; Ramı´rez & Nembhard, 2004). Following these changes and transfer, the structural form of the organizations are also changing. Therefore, the age of large bureaucracies is ending and Bennis prediction from “death of bureaucracies” is envisaged (Bennis, 1967). However, it seems that bureaucracies do not die, but their shapes change. Large organizations, because of heaviness, tendency to being static, and inability to match with continual dynamisms, will not be able to survive, and the conditions of modern economy will lead to their extinction (Downs, 1967; Robbins, 1987).

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