Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Organizational Design
A Step-by-Step Approach

4th Edition


  • Date Published: July 2020
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108717564

£ 36.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Request inspection copy

Lecturers may request a copy of this title for inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Now in its fourth edition, this is the definitive step-by-step 'how to' guide to designing an organization. Building on information processing theory, the book proposes a holistic, multi-contingency model of the organization. This textbook communicates the fundamentals of traditional and new organizational forms, including up-to-date analysis of self-organizing, boss-less, digital, and sustainable organizations. Providing a framework for the practical implementation of organizational design changes, the authors break the process down into seven basic steps: (1) Assessing Goals, (2) Assessing Strategy, (3) Analyzing Structure, (4) Assessing Process and People, (5) Analyzing Coordination, Control and Incentives, (6) Designing the Architecture, and (7) Implementing the Architecture. Each step connects with one of the nine interdependent components of the multi-contingency model, and the authors also provide a logical query process for approaching each of these components. This is an ideal guide for managers or executives interested in assessing their organization and taking steps to redesign it for success, as well as for MBA and executive MBA students looking for an introduction to organizational design.

    • Develops an integrated holistic model of the organization using a multi-contingency model derived from decades of theoretical and empirical research
    • Promotes a simple, step by step approach, from diagnosis to design and implementation, developing an integrated model of design rather than a piecemeal approach
    • Supplemented by cases and spreadsheet tools
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Advances in AI are effecting organizations in a variety of complex ways, and a systematic approach to organization design has never been more valuable. Burton, Obel and Håkonsson provide the conceptual framework for such an approach. Managers at all levels in organizations will benefit from it.' Phanish Puranam, The Roland Berger Chaired Professor of Strategy and Organisation Design, INSEAD

    'Burton, Obel and Håkonsson have written here the definitive guide to organization design, comprising both partitioning of tasks and their coordination to realize an organization's goals. Their information-processing framework is ageless, tried and true, incorporating real examples of contemporary transformations and variations that build upon it – including the mix of human and machine agents, digitalization of work, and new forms of organizing. For anyone looking to do a deep dive and to improve their organization's performance, the authors provide a step-by-step approach for diagnosis (of fit or misfit) and design (i.e., taking action to realign the organization) that is holistic, realistic and effective.' Samina Karim, Professor, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group, D'Amore-McKim School of Business, Northeastern University

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Edition: 4th Edition
    • Date Published: July 2020
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108717564
    • length: 284 pages
    • dimensions: 242 x 168 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.55kg
    • contains: 10 b/w illus. 26 colour illus. 17 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Step 1. Getting Started:
    1. Assessing the scope and goals of the organization
    Step 2. Assessing the Strategy:
    2. Strategy
    3. Environment
    Step 3. Analyzing the Structure:
    4. Traditional configurations of the firm
    5. New organizational forms?
    Step 4. Assessing Process and People:
    6. Work, task design and agents
    7. Leadership and organizational climate
    Step 5. Analyzing Coordination, Control, and Incentives:
    8. Coordination and control
    9. Incentives
    10. Designing the structure and coordination
    Step 6. Designing the Architecture:
    11. Designing the architecture and the sequence of change
    Step 7. Implementing the Architecture:
    12. Implementing the change: who should do what when?

  • Authors

    Richard M. Burton, Duke University, North Carolina
    Richard M. Burton is Professor Emeritus of Organization and Strategy at The Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, North Carolina. Richard has published articles in journals including Organization Science, Management Science, Administrative Science Quarterly, and Strategic Management Journal, among others. He is the recipient of an honorary doctorate from Aarhus University, Denmark.

    Børge Obel, Aarhus Universitet, Denmark
    Børge Obel is a professor at the Interdisciplinary Center for Organizational Architecture, Department of Management, Business, and Social Sciences, Aarhus University, Denmark, and The European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management (EIASM), Brussels. Børge has published numerous academic papers in journals including Strategic Management Journal, Organization Science, ASQ, and Management Science.

    Dorthe Døjbak Håkonsson, Aarhus Universitet, Denmark
    Dorthe Døjbak Håkonsson is a professor at the Department of Management, Business, and Social Sciences, Aarhus University, Denmark, where she also serves as Center Leader of ICOA (the Interdisciplinary Center for Organizational Architecture). She is Associate Editor of the Journal of Organization Design, and a member of the board of the Organizational Design Community. Dorthe has published articles in journals including Strategic Management Journal, California Management Review, and Long Range Planning, among others.

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.