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Online Guide to Writing and Research
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- Online Guide to Writing
Structuring the Research Paper
Formal research structure.
These are the primary purposes for formal research:
enter the discourse, or conversation, of other writers and scholars in your field
learn how others in your field use primary and secondary resources
find and understand raw data and information
For the formal academic research assignment, consider an organizational pattern typically used for primary academic research. The pattern includes the following: introduction, methods, results, discussion, and conclusions/recommendations.
Usually, research papers flow from the general to the specific and back to the general in their organization. The introduction uses a general-to-specific movement in its organization, establishing the thesis and setting the context for the conversation. The methods and results sections are more detailed and specific, providing support for the generalizations made in the introduction. The discussion section moves toward an increasingly more general discussion of the subject, leading to the conclusions and recommendations, which then generalize the conversation again.
Sections of a Formal Structure
The introduction section.
Many students will find that writing a structured introduction gets them started and gives them the focus needed to significantly improve their entire paper.
Introductions usually have three parts:
presentation of the problem statement, the topic, or the research inquiry
purpose and focus of your paper
summary or overview of the writer’s position or arguments
In the first part of the introduction—the presentation of the problem or the research inquiry—state the problem or express it so that the question is implied. Then, sketch the background on the problem and review the literature on it to give your readers a context that shows them how your research inquiry fits into the conversation currently ongoing in your subject area.
In the second part of the introduction, state your purpose and focus. Here, you may even present your actual thesis. Sometimes your purpose statement can take the place of the thesis by letting your reader know your intentions.
The third part of the introduction, the summary or overview of the paper, briefly leads readers through the discussion, forecasting the main ideas and giving readers a blueprint for the paper.
The following example provides a blueprint for a well-organized introduction.
Example of an Introduction
Entrepreneurial Marketing: The Critical Difference
In an article in the Harvard Business Review, John A. Welsh and Jerry F. White remind us that “a small business is not a little big business.” An entrepreneur is not a multinational conglomerate but a profit-seeking individual. To survive, he must have a different outlook and must apply different principles to his endeavors than does the president of a large or even medium-sized corporation. Not only does the scale of small and big businesses differ, but small businesses also suffer from what the Harvard Business Review article calls “resource poverty.” This is a problem and opportunity that requires an entirely different approach to marketing. Where large ad budgets are not necessary or feasible, where expensive ad production squanders limited capital, where every marketing dollar must do the work of two dollars, if not five dollars or even ten, where a person’s company, capital, and material well-being are all on the line—that is, where guerrilla marketing can save the day and secure the bottom line (Levinson, 1984, p. 9).
By reviewing the introductions to research articles in the discipline in which you are writing your research paper, you can get an idea of what is considered the norm for that discipline. Study several of these before you begin your paper so that you know what may be expected. If you are unsure of the kind of introduction your paper needs, ask your professor for more information. The introduction is normally written in present tense.
THE METHODS SECTION
The methods section of your research paper should describe in detail what methodology and special materials if any, you used to think through or perform your research. You should include any materials you used or designed for yourself, such as questionnaires or interview questions, to generate data or information for your research paper. You want to include any methodologies that are specific to your particular field of study, such as lab procedures for a lab experiment or data-gathering instruments for field research. The methods section is usually written in the past tense.
THE RESULTS SECTION
How you present the results of your research depends on what kind of research you did, your subject matter, and your readers’ expectations.
Quantitative information —data that can be measured—can be presented systematically and economically in tables, charts, and graphs. Quantitative information includes quantities and comparisons of sets of data.
Qualitative information , which includes brief descriptions, explanations, or instructions, can also be presented in prose tables. This kind of descriptive or explanatory information, however, is often presented in essay-like prose or even lists.
There are specific conventions for creating tables, charts, and graphs and organizing the information they contain. In general, you should use them only when you are sure they will enlighten your readers rather than confuse them. In the accompanying explanation and discussion, always refer to the graphic by number and explain specifically what you are referring to; you can also provide a caption for the graphic. The rule of thumb for presenting a graphic is first to introduce it by name, show it, and then interpret it. The results section is usually written in the past tense.
THE DISCUSSION SECTION
Your discussion section should generalize what you have learned from your research. One way to generalize is to explain the consequences or meaning of your results and then make your points that support and refer back to the statements you made in your introduction. Your discussion should be organized so that it relates directly to your thesis. You want to avoid introducing new ideas here or discussing tangential issues not directly related to the exploration and discovery of your thesis. The discussion section, along with the introduction, is usually written in the present tense.
THE CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS SECTION
Your conclusion ties your research to your thesis, binding together all the main ideas in your thinking and writing. By presenting the logical outcome of your research and thinking, your conclusion answers your research inquiry for your reader. Your conclusions should relate directly to the ideas presented in your introduction section and should not present any new ideas.
You may be asked to present your recommendations separately in your research assignment. If so, you will want to add some elements to your conclusion section. For example, you may be asked to recommend a course of action, make a prediction, propose a solution to a problem, offer a judgment, or speculate on the implications and consequences of your ideas. The conclusions and recommendations section is usually written in the present tense.
- For the formal academic research assignment, consider an organizational pattern typically used for primary academic research.
- The pattern includes the following: introduction, methods, results, discussion, and conclusions/recommendations.
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Table of Contents: Online Guide to Writing
Chapter 1: College Writing
How Does College Writing Differ from Workplace Writing?
What Is College Writing?
Why So Much Emphasis on Writing?
Chapter 2: The Writing Process
Doing Exploratory Research
Getting from Notes to Your Draft
Prewriting - Techniques to Get Started - Mining Your Intuition
Prewriting: Targeting Your Audience
Prewriting: Techniques to Get Started
Prewriting: Understanding Your Assignment
Rewriting: Being Your Own Critic
Rewriting: Creating a Revision Strategy
Rewriting: Getting Feedback
Rewriting: The Final Draft
Techniques to Get Started - Outlining
Techniques to Get Started - Using Systematic Techniques
Thesis Statement and Controlling Idea
Writing: Getting from Notes to Your Draft - Freewriting
Writing: Getting from Notes to Your Draft - Summarizing Your Ideas
Writing: Outlining What You Will Write
Chapter 3: Thinking Strategies
A Word About Style, Voice, and Tone
A Word About Style, Voice, and Tone: Style Through Vocabulary and Diction
Critical Strategies and Writing
Critical Strategies and Writing: Analysis
Critical Strategies and Writing: Evaluation
Critical Strategies and Writing: Persuasion
Critical Strategies and Writing: Synthesis
Developing a Paper Using Strategies
Kinds of Assignments You Will Write
Patterns for Presenting Information
Patterns for Presenting Information: Critiques
Patterns for Presenting Information: Discussing Raw Data
Patterns for Presenting Information: General-to-Specific Pattern
Patterns for Presenting Information: Problem-Cause-Solution Pattern
Patterns for Presenting Information: Specific-to-General Pattern
Patterns for Presenting Information: Summaries and Abstracts
Supporting with Research and Examples
Writing Essay Examinations
Writing Essay Examinations: Make Your Answer Relevant and Complete
Writing Essay Examinations: Organize Thinking Before Writing
Writing Essay Examinations: Read and Understand the Question
Chapter 4: The Research Process
Planning and Writing a Research Paper
Planning and Writing a Research Paper: Ask a Research Question
Planning and Writing a Research Paper: Cite Sources
Planning and Writing a Research Paper: Collect Evidence
Planning and Writing a Research Paper: Decide Your Point of View, or Role, for Your Research
Planning and Writing a Research Paper: Draw Conclusions
Planning and Writing a Research Paper: Find a Topic and Get an Overview
Planning and Writing a Research Paper: Manage Your Resources
Planning and Writing a Research Paper: Outline
Planning and Writing a Research Paper: Survey the Literature
Planning and Writing a Research Paper: Work Your Sources into Your Research Writing
Research Resources: Where Are Research Resources Found? - Human Resources
Research Resources: What Are Research Resources?
Research Resources: Where Are Research Resources Found?
Research Resources: Where Are Research Resources Found? - Electronic Resources
Research Resources: Where Are Research Resources Found? - Print Resources
Structuring the Research Paper: Formal Research Structure
Structuring the Research Paper: Informal Research Structure
The Nature of Research
The Research Assignment: How Should Research Sources Be Evaluated?
The Research Assignment: When Is Research Needed?
The Research Assignment: Why Perform Research?
Chapter 5: Academic Integrity
Giving Credit to Sources
Giving Credit to Sources: Copyright Laws
Giving Credit to Sources: Documentation
Giving Credit to Sources: Style Guides
Practicing Academic Integrity
Practicing Academic Integrity: Keeping Accurate Records
Practicing Academic Integrity: Managing Source Material
Practicing Academic Integrity: Managing Source Material - Paraphrasing Your Source
Practicing Academic Integrity: Managing Source Material - Quoting Your Source
Practicing Academic Integrity: Managing Source Material - Summarizing Your Sources
Types of Documentation
Types of Documentation: Bibliographies and Source Lists
Types of Documentation: Citing World Wide Web Sources
Types of Documentation: In-Text or Parenthetical Citations
Types of Documentation: In-Text or Parenthetical Citations - APA Style
Types of Documentation: In-Text or Parenthetical Citations - CSE/CBE Style
Types of Documentation: In-Text or Parenthetical Citations - Chicago Style
Types of Documentation: In-Text or Parenthetical Citations - MLA Style
Types of Documentation: Note Citations
Chapter 6: Using Library Resources
Finding Library Resources
Chapter 7: Assessing Your Writing
How Is Writing Graded?
How Is Writing Graded?: A General Assessment Tool
The Draft Stage
The Draft Stage: The First Draft
The Draft Stage: The Revision Process and the Final Draft
The Draft Stage: Using Feedback
The Research Stage
Using Assessment to Improve Your Writing
Chapter 8: Other Frequently Assigned Papers
Reviews and Reaction Papers: Article and Book Reviews
Reviews and Reaction Papers: Reaction Papers
Writing Arguments: Adapting the Argument Structure
Writing Arguments: Purposes of Argument
Writing Arguments: References to Consult for Writing Arguments
Writing Arguments: Steps to Writing an Argument - Anticipate Active Opposition
Writing Arguments: Steps to Writing an Argument - Determine Your Organization
Writing Arguments: Steps to Writing an Argument - Develop Your Argument
Writing Arguments: Steps to Writing an Argument - Introduce Your Argument
Writing Arguments: Steps to Writing an Argument - State Your Thesis or Proposition
Writing Arguments: Steps to Writing an Argument - Write Your Conclusion
Writing Arguments: Types of Argument
Appendix A: Books to Help Improve Your Writing
General Style Manuals
Researching on the Internet
Special Style Manuals
Appendix B: Collaborative Writing and Peer Reviewing
Collaborative Writing: Assignments to Accompany the Group Project
Collaborative Writing: Informal Progress Report
Collaborative Writing: Issues to Resolve
Collaborative Writing: Methodology
Collaborative Writing: Peer Evaluation
Collaborative Writing: Tasks of Collaborative Writing Group Members
Collaborative Writing: Writing Plan
Appendix C: Developing an Improvement Plan
Working with Your Instructor’s Comments and Grades
Appendix D: Writing Plan and Project Schedule
Devising a Writing Project Plan and Schedule
Reviewing Your Plan with Others
Organizational structure can be defined as a system for outlining management roles and responsibilities to achieve organizational goals. Organizational structure also determines the pattern of information flow within the organization. For instance, in highly hierarchical structures decisions are communicated from top to down, whereas in flat structures the power for decision making is distributed among various levels.
Organizational structure aims to provide efficiency and focus to operations. Appropriate structure should illustrate how the roles and responsibilities of each employee fit within the overall system.
Organizational structure has the following four main elements:
- Chain of command. Illustrating who reports to whom via an organizational chart.
- Defining departments . Clustering tasks, roles and responsibilities into groups and defining connections between various groups.
- Extend of control . Categorizing each and every task into departments to avoid a situation where two or more people do the same task.
- Centralization . Identifying the levels where decisions are made.
There are four main types of organizational structures – functional, divisional, flat and matrix.
Functional structure is based on specialization of employees and it is the most common organizational structure. It is also referred to as bureaucratic structure and divides company into various departments such as procurement, operations, marketing , finance etc.
Divisional structure is also popular and it divides to company into various divisions on the basis of products, projects or subsidiaries.
Flat structure, also referred to as horizontal structure aims to minimize the chain of command providing employees with autonomy in decision making. This pattern is popular among startups.
Matrix Organizational Structure
Matrix structure is the most complex and accordingly, the least popular. Matrix structure assigns employees across various divisions and supervisors. Employees in such a structure may belong to more than one divisions and report to several superiors.
In this portal you can find analysis of organizational structure of major international companies.
Organizational Structure Academic research paper on " Economics and business "
- Economics and business
Abstract of research paper on Economics and business, author of scientific article — Gholam Ali Ahmady, Maryam Mehrpour, Aghdas Nikooravesh
Abstract Conceptualization of organizational structure is the manifestation of systematic thought. The organization is composed of elements, relations between elements and structure as a generality composing a unit. Structure is high combination of the relations between organizational elements forming existence philosophy of organizational activity. Systematic view of organization to structure shows that structure is composed of hard elements on one side and soft elements on the other side. The review of literature views structural relations from various aspects. Organizational structure is a way or method by which organizational activities are divided, organized and coordinated. The organizations created the structures to coordinate the activities of work factors and control the member performance. Organizational structure is shown in organizational chart. The present study is descriptive and library method is used for data collection.
Similar topics of scientific paper in Economics and business , author of scholarly article — Gholam Ali Ahmady, Maryam Mehrpour, Aghdas Nikooravesh
- Effect of Organizational Culture on knowledge Management Based on Denison Model 2016 / Gholam Ali Ahmady, Aghdas Nikooravesh, Maryam Mehrpour
- Evaluation of the Last Configuration in the Central Organization in Turkish Education System 2014 / Muammer Ergün, Okan Keskin
- The Relationship between Organizational Justice and Job Satisfaction among the Employees of Tehran Payame Noor University 2013 / Mohammad Hosein Lotfi, Mohammad Shirazi Pour
- The Organizational Culture in Public and Private Institutions 2015 / Mihaela Rus, Dan Octavian Rusu
- The Role of the Organizational Internal Environment in the Establishment of Change Management in Nursing and Midwifery schools 2013 / Alice Khachian, Mehrnoosh Pazargadie, Houman Manoochehri, Alireza Akbarzadeh Baghban
Academic research paper on topic "Organizational Structure"
Available online at www.sciencedirect.com
Procedía - Social and Behavioral Sciences 230 (2016) 455 - 462
3rd International Conference on New Challenges in Management and Organization: Organization
and Leadership, 2 May 2016, Dubai, UAE
Gholam Ali Ahmadya, Maryam Mehrpourb,*7 Aghdas Nikooraveshb
aAssociate Professor of Rajai University, Humanistic science department, Educational management, Tehran, Iran bAzad University, Garmsar branch, Humanistic science department, Educational management, Garmsar, Iran
Conceptualization of organizational structure is the manifestation of systematic thought. The organization is composed of elements, relations between elements and structure as a generality composing a unit. Structure is high combination of the relations between organizational elements forming existence philosophy of organizational activity. Systematic view of organization to structure shows that structure is composed of hard elements on one side and soft elements on the other side. The review of literature views structural relations from various aspects. Organizational structure is a way or method by which organizational activities are divided, organized and coordinated. The organizations created the structures to coordinate the activities of work factors and control the member performance. Organizational structure is shown in organizational chart. The present study is descriptive and library method is used for data collection.
© 2016 The Authors.PublishedbyElsevierLtd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Peer-review under responsibility of the Ardabil Industrial Management Institute Keywords: Organization, Structure, System
Structure refers to the relations between the components of an organized whole. Thus, structure concept can be used for everything. For example, a building is a structure of the relationship between foundation, skeleton, ceiling and wall. The body of human being is a structure consists of the relations between bones, organs, blood and tissues (Jo. hatch, 2014). Organizational structure is the framework of the relations on jobs, systems, operating process, people and groups making efforts to achieve the goals. Organizational structure is a set of methods dividing the task to determined duties and coordinates them (Monavarian, Asgari, & Ashna, 2007). Organizational structure is a
* Corresponding author. Tel.: +98-912-619-2931; fax:+0-000-000-0000 . E-mail address: [email protected]
1877-0428 © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Peer-review under responsibility of the Ardabil Industrial Management Institute doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2016.09.057
method by which organizational activities are divided, organized and coordinated. The organizations create the structures to coordinate the activities of work factors and control the members' actions (Rezayian, 2005).
2. Organization structure definition
Minterzberg (1972): Organizational structure is the framework of the relations on jobs, systems, operating process, people and groups making efforts to achieve the goals. Organizational structure is a set of methods dividing the task to determined duties and coordinates them. Hold and Antony (1991): Structure is not a coordination mechanism and it affects all organizational process. Organizational structure refers to the models of internal relations of organization, power and relations and reporting, formal communication channels, responsibility and decision making delegation is clarified. Amold and Feldman (1986): Helping the information flow is one of the facilities provided by structure for the organization (Monavarian, Asgari, & Ashena, 2007).Organizational structure should facilitate decision making, proper reaction to environment and conflict resolution between the units. The relationship between main principles of organization and coordination between its activities and internal organizational relations in terms of reporting and getting report are duties of organization structure (Daft, Translated by Parsayian and Arabi, 1998).
2.1. Conceptualization of organizational structure
Conceptualization of organizational structure is the manifestation of systematic thinking. Organization consists of elements, relations between elements and structure of relations as a generality composing a unit. Structure is high combination of the relations between organizational elements forming existence philosophy of organizational activity. Systematic view of organization to structure shows that structure is composed of hard elements on one side and soft elements on the other side. At the end of hard dimension, there are tangible elements as groups and hierarchy organizational units. The relations between these units and groups show soft element in organization structure. At the end of soft continuum dimension, judgment of organization people to structure can be observed. The review of literature views structural relations from various aspects. According to the study of Schine (1971, 1988) regarding the identification of three dimensions: Hierarchy, functional and inclusion, it is a unique study. Three dimensions of his study are as followings:
• Hierarchy dimension: It shows relative ranks of organizational units by similar method of organizational chart.
• Functional dimension: It shows different works performed in organization.
• Inclusion dimension: The close or far distance of each person in organization to central core of organization. The proper combination of mentioned dimensions shows formal structure as manifested in organizational chart. The reality is that there are many organizational forms and they cannot be easily explained by organizational chart (Foruhi, 2004).
3. Dimensions of organizational structures
Organizational structure is manifested in organizational chart. In planning organizational structure, there are three principles:
1- Organizational structure determines formal relations and reporting in organization and it shows the number of levels in the hierarchy and it defines the span of the control of managers.
2- Organizational structure determines the position of people as working in group in a unit and it divides the units in the entire organization.
3- Organizational structure includes the design of systems by which all units are coordinated and effective relation in organization is guaranteed.
Organizational structure can be affected by goals, strategy, environment, technology, organization size. These variables are key and content-based and indicate the entire organization and its position between the organization
and environment. Content variables can be important as they show organization and the environment in which there are structural variables. Structural variables indicate internal features of an organization and present a basis by which the organizations can be measured and their structure features can be compared with each other. The content variables affect structural variables. Complexity, formality and centralization are important examples of content variables. Content variables affect structural variables and by their combination, different types of structural designers are created (Rabinz, Translated by Parsian and Arabi, 2012).
4. Different types of organizational structures
The organization theorists consider mostly two types of structures: Physical and social structures. Physical structure refers to the relations between physical elements of organizations as buildings and geographical places in which the works are done (business). In organization theory, social structure refers to the relations between social elements as people, positions and organizational units (e.g. departments and sectors).
4.1. Different types of social structures
Simple structure: This is a set of flexible relations and due to limited separation, it has low complexity. The members of such organization can design organization chart with focusing on leaders and there is no need to formality. Considering the duties or management order is done by mutual agreement and coordination and supervision are direct and informal.
Functional structure: The organization with increased complexity is managed based on simple structure. Normally, functional structure is used as a tool to fulfill the increasing needs of separation. This is called function as in this structure, the activities are classified based on logical similarity of work functions. The functions that are created based on dependent duties and shared goals. In functional structure, re-work of activities is limited and this structure is efficient. The aim of this plan is maximizing saving of specialization scale.
Multidivisional structure: In organizational development path, if functional structure is developed, it is turned into multidivisional structure as a tool to reduce the decisions responsibility by top manager. Multidivisional structure is a set of separate functional structures reporting a central center. Each functional structure is responsible for management of daily operation. The central staff is responsible for supervision and management of organization relation with environment and strategy.
Matrix structure: This structure is created with the aim of creating a type of structure composed of functional and multidivisional structures. The aim of matrix structure is combining the efficiency of functional structure with flexibility and sensitivity of multidivisional structure not only based on product logic, customer or geographical region, but also based on functional logic in multidivisional structure. In matrix organization, functional specialized employees work in one or some project teams. This delegation of activities to employees is done via negotiation between functional and project managers and sometimes with the presence of people of teams or potential members.
Hybrid structure: In hybrid structure, one part is dedicated to the type of structure and another part to another type of structure. The reason of formation of hybrid structures is combination of advantages of two structures by designers or the organization is changing. As in hybrid structure, by moving from one section of structure to another structure, the relations basis is changed and hybrid forms can be unclear. On the other hand, hybrid structure enables the organization in which the best and flexible structure is used.
Network structure: The networks are formed when the organizations are faced with rapid changes of technology, short life cycles of product and dispersed and specialized markets. IN a network, required assets are distributed among some network partners as there is no unified organization in a network to generate the products or services and the network is producer or supplier. In a network structure, the partners are associated via customer supplier relations and a type of free market system is created. It means that the goods are traded among network partners as in a free market, they are traded (Jo. hatch, Translated by Danayifard, 2014).
Bureaucracy: Generally, determining criterion, forming, unifying the work methods as called standardization is key concept or foundation of machine bureaucracy. If you're visit banks, chain stores, tax offices, health office, firefighting, these institutions and offices rely on standardization of methods and work methods for coordination and good supervision. The features of machine bureaucracy are as:
• High volume of uniform and continuous executive works
• Dealing with regular and formal regulations
• The presence of separated units with definite classified duties
• Centralization of power and taking decisions via commanding hierarchy
• Having complete administrative structure by defining the boundary between staff and queue activities (Rabbinz, Translated by Parsayin and Arabi, 2012).
4.2. Structural forms
Structural forms are divided into theoretical and practical. Theoretical forms are generic and abstract divided into organic and mechanistic.
Content variables (goals and strategy, environment, technology and size) determine the type of mechanistic and organic structure. Of the combination of structural variables, organic or mechanistic form is created.In organic structure we have:
• Less horizontal differentiation
• High collaboration and participation (both horizontal and vertical).
• Flexible tasks
• The works are not formal and the communications are informal.
• Decision making system is not centralized. In mechanistic structure:
• The units are differentiated at horizontal level.
• The relations are exact and inflexible.
• Communication channel is formal
• Decision making system is centralized.
Different types of practical organizational structures are organic and mechanistic structures in a range and include partial and practical structures. The practical structures are divided into two groups:
1- Different types of practical structures based on five sections of organization.
2- Different types of practical structures based on grouping the activities of organization
Different types of practical structures based on five sections of organization, Minterzberg believes that each organization is composed of five main section:
• The operative core is the workers who actually carry out the organization's tasks (goods or services).
• The strategic apex is top management and its support staff.
• The middle line is the managers between operating core and top management of organization.
• The techno structure is analysts, with the duties of standards in organization.
• The support staff is the people who have support staff duty and help in linking with organization activities.
Each of five principles can control the organization. Based on the principle controlling the organization, the organization structure is designed specifically (based on this principle). Thus, based on the view of Minterzberg, there are five types of organization structures and each of them belongs to the principle in organization (Rabbinz, translated by Parsian and Arabi, 2012).
4.3. New structures
From the early 80s, top managers of many great organizations attempted to present new structures and increase effectiveness of organization as:
• Team structure: The barriers are eliminated, the decisions are not centralized and the team takes the required decisions.
• Virtual organizations: It is a small and central organization providing its main resources form other organizations. A virtual organization is centralized in terms of structure and rarely has it specialized units.
• No boundary organizations: In these organizations, commanding chain is eliminated and there is no control and the teams with high autonomy are replaced by centers (Rabbinz, Translated by Parsian and Arabi, 2012).
5. Structural models
Structural models give the main importance to organizational structure but key elements are consistent with the main features of each formal model. Bowlman and Dill believe that structural view is based on 6 hypotheses:
1- The organizations exist to achieve the predetermined goals.
2- For each organization, structural form based on specific set of conditions is designed.
3- An organization is effective if, the environment confusion and individual priorities are restricted by reasoning norms.
4- Specialization, enables high level of specialization and individual performance.
5- Coordination and control are necessary for effectiveness.
6- Organizational problems arise from unsuitable and inefficient structures and can be solved by re-structuring or development of new systems.
Structural assumptions of Bowlman and Dill include bias of goal, reasoning, power and referring to the systems consistent with the main goals of formal models. Beker and Koagan propose structural model with 4 levels as:
• Central level including the national and local power as having general planning, determination of resources and supervision on standards.
• The institution defined in law and association and it includes all schools and Universities.
• The main unit corresponding with educational groups and faculty members in educational groups and display units in schools.
• Individual level including teachers, students or employees of support. However, Beker and Koagan consider mostly the teachers as they play the main role in forming curriculum and academic policies.
These structural models define operating and prescriptive methods, prescriptive method is associated with supervision and maintaining the values in the system. Operating method refers to the applied duties in various levels in the system. The relations among the levels can be classified into prescriptive or operating and the relations require evaluation or judgment, in operating relations, it is associated with the resources allocation, responsibilities and duties. Beker and Koagan consider the nature of four levels as open. Their structural models are not hierarchy. The schools and universities are described as vertical and hierarchy. For example, Owts emphasized on the hierarchy nature of school structures and improved the chief power. The high teacher power is delegated to the top teacher and via the chiefs of sectors, the periods are transferred... (Implicitly) and agreement regarding the ability of top managers to direct school management is express without any disagreement (Boush, translated by Shahidi et al., 2013).
6. Determining factors of structure
Pitter Draker: Structure is a tool to achieve short and long-term goals of organization. Thus, any discussion should be regarding goals and strategy in structure.
• Strategy: The process of determining fundamental long-term goals, taking method and allocation of required source to achieve goals. Strategy refers to final results and tools.
• Size: Kimberley states that organization magnitude has four elements:
1- physical capacity of organization (the number of beds in hospital, number of production lines, number of University classes)
2- The existing employees in organization: The most common criterion (part-time staffs, seasonal business, industry type)
3- Organization input and output (number of customers, students and sale)
4- Materialistic and financial resources
The size of an organization is effective on its structure.
• Technology: It refers to the information, equipment, techniques and process to turn the inputs to outputs. Woodward Research: He mostly focused on production technology and the companies were classified based on one of three types of production technology, mass and process.
• Environment: The forces effective on organization performance and organization has less control on them or has no control on them.
General environment: All effective conditions on organization but their dependency was not clear to organization (economic, cultural, political, social, legal conditions, etc.).
Specific environment: It is a part of organization environment as associated directly with organization to achieve the goals. Specific environment of each organization is unique and is changed by changing the conditions (customers, suppliers, competitors, law making institutions, state, etc.) and the specific environment of an organization is changed based on its selective domain.
• Control power (strategic selection): Under the best conditions of four previous factors (strategy, size, technology, environment) only 50 to 60% of change in structure are explained. Based on this view, at any time, the structure of an organization is the result of measurements of power owners of the organization in selection of the structure by which its control is maximized.
The structure of an organization is the result of power conflict between internal organization coalitions with specific benefits and each requires a structure and their benefits are fulfilled better instead of general benefits of organization (Arabi, 2007).
7. The formalization tool of organization
The most important formalization tool of organization is as followings:
• Organizational structure charter
• Organization guide (Rezayian, 2005)
7.1. Organization chart:
It is one of the documents regulated after organization formalization. To describe organizational structure, units of an organization are used and it includes organizational unit and role. It is as hierarchy and if necessary, the roles of organizational units in low details level are added (Shams & Mahjurian, 2010).
• To show organizational units, rectangle box is used (sometimes circle, etc.).
• The most important organizational unit is at the top of chart and distance of each unit form the highest unit indicates the power of the unit.
• The lines between organization units show their organizational relations.
• IF the communication line between two units indicates applying a part of power, it is shown by assumptive line (---).
• If we make a difference between queue units form staff units, the staff units should be drawn beside commanding line (organizational hierarchy)( Rezaian, 2005).
7.2. FHD chart
• This model is used to describe a set of duties or functions of an organization.
• Any organizational unit or organizational position has a series of d units but these duties are not performed practically until a process in organization is associated with these duties.
• It is possible that there are ten separated duties for an organization position but practically, only one or two duties are used by a set of executing processes of organization (Shams, Mahjurian, 2010).
7.3. The system architecture chart
This model is used to describe the relations between one subsystems with other information subsystems, information resources in a complete system. An information system is recognized by some of smaller subsystems (Shams, Mahjurian, 2010).
• Organization guidance: IN some of bigger organizations, to introduce formal organization structure, organization guidance is used consisting of some information as:
• Organizational goals
• Policies and procedures
• Job definition of main executive managers
• Some guidance about the duties of executive managers (Rezaian, 2005).
Re-engineering of organizations is a set of tasks performed by an organization to change the process and internal controls to be changed from vertical traditional structures and hierarchy to horizontal structures based on group and surface structure as all processes are used for attracting the satisfaction of customers. The items in a successful reengineering:
1 - What should be changed?
2- How this change is made.
3- By which tool, the change is made.
4- Why this change is made.
5- When the changes are occurred.
6- Where the change is made (Tafreshi, Yusefi, Khadivi, 2002).
As the current society is with millions of organizations and institutions, it is required that they are organized in the form of limited configurations. The configurations as suitable for organizing all organizations and institutions are classified in various models and forms. Some of the structures are organic, dynamic but others are mechanized and static. Each of them have their unity compared to other models (Rabbinz, Translated by Parsain and Arabi, 2012).
Arabi, M. 2007. The design of organizational structure. Tehran. Cultural research office.
Bosh, T. 2013. The theories of leadership and educational management. Translated by Nima Sh. et al., Tehran. Sharh publications. Tafreshi, Q; Yusefi, R; Khadivi, A. 2002. A new attitude to views of organization and management. Tehran: Andishe Farashenakhti publications.
Johatch, M. 2014. Organization theory. Translated by Dr. Danayifard.H, Tehran. Mehban publications.
Daft, R. 1998. Theory and design of organization. Translated by Parsian and Arabi. Tehran. Cultural research office.
Rabbinz, S. 2012. The basics of organizational management. Translated by Parsian and Arabi. Tehran. Cultural research office.
Rezayian, A. 2005. The basics of organization and management. Tehran. SAMT publications.
Shams, F; Mahjurian, A. 2010. The principles, basics and methods of service-oriented organizational architecture. Tehran. Shahid Beheshti University publications.
Foruhi, M, The structural dimensions in knowledge-based organizations. Farda management. Fall and winter. 2004. p. 73-82. Monavarian, A; Asgari, N; Ashena, M. Structural and content dimensions of knowledge-based organizations. The first national conference of knowledge management. Bahman 2007.
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Organization and Structure
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There is no single organizational pattern that works well for all writing across all disciplines; rather, organization depends on what you’re writing, who you’re writing it for, and where your writing will be read. In order to communicate your ideas, you’ll need to use a logical and consistent organizational structure in all of your writing. We can think about organization at the global level (your entire paper or project) as well as at the local level (a chapter, section, or paragraph). For an American academic situation, this means that at all times, the goal of revising for organization and structure is to consciously design your writing projects to make them easy for readers to understand. In this context, you as the writer are always responsible for the reader's ability to understand your work; in other words, American academic writing is writer-responsible. A good goal is to make your writing accessible and comprehensible to someone who just reads sections of your writing rather than the entire piece. This handout provides strategies for revising your writing to help meet this goal.
Note that this resource focuses on writing for an American academic setting, specifically for graduate students. American academic writing is of course not the only standard for academic writing, and researchers around the globe will have different expectations for organization and structure. The OWL has some more resources about writing for American and international audiences here .
While organization varies across and within disciplines, usually based on the genre, publication venue, and other rhetorical considerations of the writing, a great deal of academic writing can be described by the acronym IMRAD (or IMRaD): Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion. This structure is common across most of the sciences and is often used in the humanities for empirical research. This structure doesn't serve every purpose (for instance, it may be difficult to follow IMRAD in a proposal for a future study or in more exploratory writing in the humanities), and it is often tweaked or changed to fit a particular situation. Still, its wide use as a base for a great deal of scholarly writing makes it worthwhile to break down here.
- Introduction : What is the purpose of the study? What were the research questions? What necessary background information should the reader understand to help contextualize the study? (Some disciplines include their literature review section as part of the introduction; some give the literature review its own heading on the same level as the other sections, i.e., ILMRAD.) Some writers use the CARS model to help craft their introductions more effectively.
- Methods: What methods did the researchers use? How was the study conducted? If the study included participants, who were they, and how were they selected?
- Results : This section lists the data. What did the researchers find as a result of their experiments (or, if the research is not experimental, what did the researchers learn from the study)? How were the research questions answered?
- Discussion : This section places the data within the larger conversation of the field. What might the results mean? Do these results agree or disagree with other literature cited? What should researchers do in the future?
Depending on your discipline, this may be exactly the structure you should use in your writing; or, it may be a base that you can see under the surface of published pieces in your field, which then diverge from the IMRAD structure to meet the expectations of other scholars in the field. However, you should always check to see what's expected of you in a given situation; this might mean talking to the professor for your class, looking at a journal's submission guidelines, reading your field's style manual, examining published examples, or asking a trusted mentor. Every field is a little different.
Outlining & Reverse Outlining
One of the most effective ways to get your ideas organized is to write an outline. A traditional outline comes as the pre-writing or drafting stage of the writing process. As you make your outline, think about all of the concepts, topics, and ideas you will need to include in order to accomplish your goal for the piece of writing. This may also include important citations and key terms. Write down each of these, and then consider what information readers will need to know in order for each point to make sense. Try to arrange your ideas in a way that logically progresses, building from one key idea or point to the next.
Questions for Writing Outlines
- What are the main points I am trying to make in this piece of writing?
- What background information will my readers need to understand each point? What will novice readers vs. experienced readers need to know?
- In what order do I want to present my ideas? Most important to least important, or least important to most important? Chronologically? Most complex to least complex? According to categories? Another order?
Reverse outlining comes at the drafting or revision stage of the writing process. After you have a complete draft of your project (or a section of your project), work alone or with a partner to read your project with the goal of understanding the main points you have made and the relationship of these points to one another. The OWL has another resource about reverse outlining here.
Questions for Writing Reverse Outlines
- What topics are covered in this piece of writing?
- In what order are the ideas presented? Is this order logical for both novice and experienced readers?
- Is adequate background information provided for each point, making it easy to understand how one idea leads to the next?
- What other points might the author include to further develop the writing project?
Organizing at the sentence and paragraph level
Signposting is the practice of using language specifically designed to help orient readers of your text. We call it signposting because this practice is like leaving road signs for a driver — it tells your reader where to go and what to expect up ahead. Signposting includes the use of transitional words and phrasing, and they may be explicit or more subtle. For example, an explicit signpost might say:
This section will cover Topic A and Topic B.
A more subtle signpost might look like this:
It's important to consider the impact of Topic A and Topic B.
The style of signpost you use will depend on the genre of your paper, the discipline in which you are writing, and your or your readers’ personal preferences. Regardless of the style of signpost you select, it’s important to include signposts regularly. They occur most frequently at the beginnings and endings of sections of your paper. It is often helpful to include signposts at mid-points in your project in order to remind readers of where you are in your argument.
Questions for Identifying and Evaluating Signposts
- How and where does the author include a phrase, sentence, or short group of sentences that explains the purpose and contents of the paper?
- How does each section of the paper provide a brief summary of what was covered earlier in the paper?
- How does each section of the paper explain what will be covered in that section?
- How does the author use transitional words and phrases to guide readers through ideas (e.g. however, in addition, similarly, nevertheless, another, while, because, first, second, next, then etc.)?
Clark, I. (2006). Writing the successful thesis and dissertation: Entering the conversation . Prentice Hall Press.
Davis, M., Davis, K. J., & Dunagan, M. (2012). Scientific papers and presentations . Academic press.
How to craft an organizational structure for your research article
The IMRAD, hourglass and inverted pyramid structures are all options you can use - it is up to you to find which works best for your article.
- Post a comment
Dr. Editor’s response:
I’ll offer a two-part response to this question, as I see two different possibilities at work here: organization and concision. Let’s start with organization.
There is no recommended structure for journal articles in the humanities. As such, these articles differ from those in education, the social sciences, and the sciences, which tend to follow the IMRAD (“Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion”) structure. Researchers in these disciplines may believe that they don’t need to be concerned about the organization that governs their articles. Having learned the IMRAD convention from their mentors and seen it in the work of their peers, these researchers may perceive IMRAD to be a kind of evolutionary pinnacle — an organization scheme that has adapted to its environs, the peer-reviewed journal, through mutation and development over generations.
But written documents aren’t organisms. In Stylish Academic Writing (2012), Helen Sword warns academics to be wary of the ways in which set structures like IMRAD may limit thinking: “academics who always plan, research, and write to a template risk thinking to a template as well.” In contrast, Dr. Sword points to Virginia Woolf’s H-shaped sketch of the structure behind To the Lighthouse (1927):
Dr. Sword advises academics to draw on Woolf’s formal innovation in the novel as inspiration and try integrating unexpected structures within a hybridized IMRAD, because “unique and experimental structures can open up new ways of approaching familiar issues.” Dr. Sword’s excellent chapter on “Structural Designs” in Stylish Academic Writing offers suggestions on how to integrate hybridity and innovative structures within IMRAD; for writers of IMRAD-format papers, what follows will also offer some options that bridge innovation and convention.
Dear letter-writer, this is a long way of saying: the quandary you face is, in some ways, a boon. Working in the humanities, your arguments and thinking are not governed by a strict organizational structure that risks binding the limits of your work. Yes, the journal article itself has conventions — it is a genre of writing distinct from the novel, the email, the grant application — but these conventions, in the humanities, don’t include an organizational scheme as strict as IMRAD.
So what should you do when you’re struggling to organize your thoughts in a coherent, unified argument? Summon Virginia Woolf: draw your structure.
Structure visualized, example one:
I was working with a researcher whose argument, I felt, kept taking an odd left turn. She felt the turn was integral; I didn’t see how it fit. It was only when we together drew the structure of her article that we were able to see how what I perceived as a left turn was, in fact, meant to be an extension of her central argument. Once we together determined the shape of her argument, we were able to implement strategies to improve paragraph structure and flow , which helped bring this ideal shape into being for her article.
Structure visualized, example two:
Listening to Tanya Talaga’s excellent 2018 CBC Massey Lecture in Vancouver, “ The Third Space ,” I was struck by the repeated shifts in focus in her structure, from breadth to nuanced depth. When I got home from the lecture, I drew a series of networked nodes that I thought encompassed the form of her argument.
I knew from Elements of Indigenous Style (2018) that Greg Younging sees Indigenous writers as structuring their work along “a wheel of understanding” that doesn’t fit on to the “line-by-line linear map” of “Eurostructure.” As I recover from a minor medical procedure in early 2019, I look forward to listening to the recordings of all of Ms. Talaga’s five lectures, to see if Mr. Younging’s circle theory holds for Ms. Talaga’s five-part lecture series.
Visualize your structure
Dear letter-writer, your question evoked a temporal metaphor, the “pacing” of the journal article. I encourage you to shift your metaphor and think of your writing as occupying space rather than time.
Draw out the shape of your argument, using a wide box to suggest the breadth of your claims — the moments when you are writing about the significance of your argument, and its relationship to other scholars — and a narrow one to indicate where you’ve narrowed your focus to analyze something detailed and specific, such as a line of a poem or quotation from a primary source. If you’ve drawn a top-heavy structure — something like the Qube building — ask yourself if there are moments where you can disperse the detailed analysis throughout your broader sections by, for example, front-loading a detail as a hook, or weaving in vignettes or case studies.
You can also visualize the shape of other articles in your field that you admire, and see if you want to echo their structure — though, indeed, too closely mirroring others’ patterns risks thinking to a template. A formal analysis of others’ structures may also help you to determine if you truly need all the big picture aspects of your argument:
As you draw the shape of your article, you may find that — as Dr. Rowlinson argues — in the field of literary studies, a review of the literature that is separate from one’s own detailed analysis is not conventional. If your argument depends on the inclusion of a literature review, then ensure that the structure you’re drawing with your words has a logical space to include this section.
My left hook
And, in closing — I promised a second part to this piece that’d be focused on concision, and I’ll keep it brief. Write short. Keep your sentences under 25 words . Cut “is” . Favour the active voice . Reduce the word count in the structurally ‘wide’ sections of your article, and your edits will help you to shift the balance of your paper from breadth to depth.
Practicing what I preach, here’s my visualization of this very article:
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