Departments as Fundamental Units of Administrative Organizations
The line agency in its traditional form exists as departments. Departments are the fundamental unit of administrative organizations and carries out all the functions. There are different shortcoming and problems associated with this structure as well but before we dwell into that, we shall make an attempt to understand the basic principles on which the organization of departments is based.
The organization of departments is based on four principles:
The above mentioned principles are not the sole criteria for the basis of organizations, aspects like traditions and history also play a role. Generally, the governments look at a combination of one or more principles and considerations to base the departments on. The most relevant however has been the functional principle or the Scientific Principle of Organization. With increase in specialization of functions, it only makes sense to have organizations based on them. Let us read about some of the features of this principle:
The departments are further divided into divisions which is the vertical division based on the broader functions to be performed by the department. The horizontal division is done for other specific activities to be carried out under that division.
The horizontal method of dividing the work within the organization is preferred in comparison to the vertical segregation. The arguments given for the same are:
The departments are generally divided into two divisions (there may be more), the division of Primary Activities and the Division of Secondary or Institutional Activities about which we read earlier.
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