Informal Structure
Natural theorists question the importance of formal structures over informal ones. "Informal structures are those based on the characteristics or resources of the specfic participants" (Scott p. 54), and can be distinquished from formal basis by observing the changes resulting from a change in personnel at a particular position.

"Individual participants ... enter the organization with individually shaped ideas, expectations, and agendas, and they bring with them differing values, interests, and abilities". (Scott p. 54)

Yet interestingly, this informal structure is also stable. "Participants within formal organizations generate informal norms and behavior patterns: status and power systems, communication networks, sociometric structures, and working arrangements" (Scott p. 54).

These informal systems are necessary, because no one can devise a formal system that can function under all possible contingencies or remain adaptive with change.

"In sum, natural system theorists insist that highly centralized and formalized structures are doomed to be ineffective and irrational in that they waste the organizaiton's most precious resource: the intelligence and initiative of its participants". Scott p. 55

Early natural theorists tended to overlook the impact of the environment on organization structure and behavior (the Hawthorne studies is a good example).

Reliance on Informal Rather than Formal Structure
"The rational system response to increasing task demands is to shorten and straighten the leash -- provide superiors with more and faster information...increase the ratio of superiors to performers to process info more quickly." While increasing complexity often brings decentralization, it also causes more formalization.

The natural theorists emphasize the advantages of the informal system to confront increased complexity and uncertainty. They recommend more "enlarged roles, internalized control, and informal structures to confront high levels of uncertainty and complexity" (Scott p. 249).