Structural Complexity and the Environment

It seems that as the need for buffering continues with the enviroment, there will be more growth in specialized staff roles and departments in both input and output ends of the organization (Scott p. 267). As the enviroment and transactions become more complex, new occupational groups are created to deal with this complexity (engineers, purchasing agents, patent lawyers, etc.). It occurs with changes to either the institutional environments (Dimaggio and Powell, 1983) or with technical environments.

The internal complexity may increase at only certain levels. Rowan (1982) studied the changes in staffing of support roles in the California school system from 1930-1970. He found staffing levels reflected the general interest in the specific support area (health, psychology, etc.) based on broader educational movements and state and national politics. The greater the consensus the more diffuse and prevalent the staffing, the less consensus the more patterned the staffing.

Organizations respond to environments both as rational-dependent units and as natural systems bent on survival. The organization adapts to more complex environments by becoming more complex itself (Scott p. 268).