Alternate Design Options

  1. 3 Identify the characteristics of the virtual structure, the team structure, and the circular structure.

In the ever-increasing trend toward flatter structures, many organizations have been developing new options with fewer layers of hierarchy and more ­emphasis on opening the boundaries of the organization.27 In this section, we describe three such designs: the virtual structure, the team structure, and the circular structure.

The Virtual Structure

Why own when you can rent? That question captures the essence of the virtual structure (also sometimes called the network, or modular, structure), typically a small, core organization that outsources its major business functions.28 The virtual structure is highly centralized, ...

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