Mintzberg Model – What Is It, Elements And Configurations

The Mintzberg model is a technique used to describe the structure of a company. This analysis of the organization fulfills the guiding function, where it is possible to classify, understand and create a functional structure for each type of company. The model was created in 1979 by Professor Henry Mintzberg, of Canadian origin.

In the study of the model, there are two assumptions that are key to understanding the operation; the division of labor and the coordination of tasks to achieve the proposed goals.

Elements of the Mintzberg model

Mintzberg model focuses on defining the elements that should be part of the organization, selecting those that allow coherence and harmony between its environment and between the organization itself.

In this sense, the professor points out 5 elements that are key in the structure of any organization, which, although important, will not always be presented in the same way in different types of companies.

Strategic summit

It is made up of the director, the most relevant authorities and those who provide direct support, representing the highest level of the organization and the highest ranking. Its function is to have a global vision of the organization and define the objectives, among other matters.

Middle line

It is made up of managers, supervisors, etc. Its position is between the summit and the operating core. They have the function of selecting and assigning the tasks to each trained sector, to pursue the objectives that have been proposed by the strategic summit.

Technical structure

An example of this element is the human resources department. They have the function of standardizing each work process, using the resources necessary for its control and the creation of its formal approach.

Operations Core

They are all those operators who are responsible for the production tasks, or the provision of services.

Support staff

It is made up of all the personnel that offers services and carry out functions in the company, without being part of the organizational structure. For example, security personnel.

Mintzberg model configurations

Taking into account the above elements, each company is structured in a different way, which Mintzberg called configurations. His words affirm that all organizations, without exception, correspond to a configuration. However, they are not limited to one of them.

Organizations tend to be structured differently, taking into account the relationship with their environment and internal harmony. In this way, they mimic some configurations, without limitations.

The different models or configurations are distinguished mainly by the relationships between the different elements and the weight assigned to each of these. These can be:

Simple structure

It is a model frequently used in small and medium enterprises, being very flexible and informal. For example, clothing stores, where its structure is based on the direct supervision of a member of the strategic summit. It is important to note that its use is not limited to small organizations, although it is usually uncommon, there are large companies that can use this configuration.

Machine bureaucracy

It is usually associated with organizations whose work is simple, routine and repetitive. Its base is the standardization of the processes, reducing in its maximum expression the elements that generate uncertainty. To achieve this, they use a bureaucratic and exhaustive control of all work processes.

Professional bureaucracy

Professional bureaucracy differs from machine because it focuses on the standardization of professional skills and knowledge. Some clear examples are university centers and hospitals.

Divisionist form

The divisionist form is a configuration that separates independent groups, where each of these fulfills a specific function. The different groups are coordinated by a single centralized management. It is common to see this type of organization in multinational companies or groups of companies.


This organizational configuration is highly flexible. Its authority can be constantly transferred since it is composed of expert professionals who perform the tasks together, in coordination and dispersed. These small teams work as independent units that maximize performance, although it is one of the most difficult models to implement in a company.

Importance of the Mintzberg model

Mintzberg model was considered a breakthrough in terms of a business organization. Its importance lies in the fact that there are models that maximize efficiency and productivity within the company, and that these may vary according to the specific objectives of each organization.

Therefore, it is vital to know the purpose of the organization and the relationship it has with the environment, to define an appropriate model.

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Ahmed Ismail

I'm a Civil Engineer. I like reading everything related to Business so I decided to launch the "Fast Grow Company" website to help Entrepreneurs in their business journey. Keep updated and follow us.

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