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Agricultural Marketing Resource Center

Business Organizational Structure

There is more to organizing a business than choosing a legal structure (e.g., cooperative, LLC, etc.). You must also determine how it will be organized from a business perspective.

What are the functions and duties that need to be addressed? Who will do them? Who will be in charge of the day-to-day operation of the business? Who will report to whom? Choosing a Business Structure will help you answer these and other questions, enabling the activities of the business to be carried out. You will need to create an organizational structure for your business that outlines the various positions that are needed and how they relate to the other positions in the organization. After that is completed, you can write a job description for each position that will describe its functions and duties.

For more information on this topic, see the links listed below of articles posted on related Web sites.

Improving the Organization

  • Principles for Structuring Small Businesses and Farms – Purdue University Extension – Introduces five principles for guiding the organization structure of a small business and provides three common organizational structure examples.
  • Surfacing Your Underground Organization – HBS Working Knowledge -- Is your organization plagued with defensive reasoning?
  • Time to Treat Toxic Emotions at Work – HBS Working Knowledge -- Real emotional pain festers in every work environment and, if left unchallenged, can cripple an organization.
  • Reviving the Lost Art of Debriefing – HBS Working Knowledge -- If you go to the expense and trouble of sending an employee to an event, you'd better capture that knowledge for your organization. How? The answer: Integrate the art of debriefing into everyday corporate life.
  • Is Your Organization Built for the Consumer? – HBS Working Knowledge -- Efficient consumer response is a "win-win-win" process for consumers, suppliers, and retailers.
  • The Strategy-Focused Organization – HBS Working Knowledge -- Balanced Scorecard has become not just a measurement tool but a means of putting strategy at the center of a company's key management processes and systems.
  • Keys to Making Your Offsites Effective – HBS Working Knowledge -- Companies use offsite meetings to recharge management and set clear goals and tactics. But is your company getting the most out of this time?
  • Women Leaders and Organizational Change - HBS Working Knowledge. Merely expanding the number of women in leadership roles does not automatically induce organizational change.  Fundamental changes are needed to transform the organization.

Changing the Organization

  • Telecommuting as a True Workplace Alternative – University of Florida Extension -- Telecommuting, which is described as the practice of establishing, developing, and maintaining successful off-site business practices through telecommunication practices, is currently paving the way to a potentially more efficient communication system in the workplace.
  • Making the Decision to Decentralize - HBS Working Knowledge. Is you business better off with a central command structure or decentralized?  Your future depends on the right answer.
  • Managing in the Whitespace – HBS Working Knowledge -- How can companies act entrepreneurial when they are programmed to operate with strict policies, focused strategy, and clear authority?
  • Get Off the Dime - HBS Working Knowledge. If you want large-scale change in your organization, you must change people's behaviors.
  • Leading Change and Organizational Renewal – HBS Working Knowledge -- A critical question confronting organizations today is not whether to change in response to their swiftly changing environment, but precisely how to manage that change.

Organizational Learning


Advisory Board

Links checked July 2014.


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