Professional Organizations

"Technical complexity does not invariably give rise to greater complexity of structure; it may give rise instead fo greater "complexity" of the performer" (Scott p. 253). One can confront greater complexity by hiring people better trained to deal with it. It works best with uncertain jobs requiring little interdependence.

In autonomous professional groups, officials delegate most responsibility to the professionals themselves to define and implement the goals and monitor and reward each other's performance. The professionals organize themselves to nominate the officials that primarily supervise the administration of the organization. The professionals are largely independent and loosely controlled through collegial relations. Examples of these include hospitals, medical clinics, elite schools, and scientific institutes (Scott p. 254).

A second type is heteronomous professional organization, where the professionals are clearly subordinated to an administrative framework and are more closely supervised. Examples are libraries, secondary schools, small religious colleges, engineering companies, applied research firms, and public accounting firms (Scott p. 254).

The organizational structures for professionals in this type are similar to "normal" organizations, but professionals are typically given more autonomy, especially over means and techniques (Scott p. 254). Unfortunately, adding professionals doesn't necessarily reduce supervision costs, as they often generate more information that requires more management to process it.