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Public Administrations

Be substantive and clear, and use examples to reinforce your ideas:

Conduct an Internet search for a public administration organization, and review its organizational chart.

- What type of public organization is it? Explain in detail.
- Is the organizational chart more horizontal, vertical, or is it both? Explain why and justify your response.
- What else do you think can be learned about this organization by looking at its organizational chart? Explain in detail.

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Organization of the U.S. Department of State:
Chart available here:

Type of Organization:

The State Department is the product of several centuries of development. It takes from both functional and divisional structures (forming a sort of matrix-type structure overall). It is a clear hierarchy, where the Secretary of State is assisted by undersecretaries with specific specialty areas. Yet, these specialty areas are almost self-contained entities. Not quite autonomous, but there is some overlap in terms of function. Therefore, it is a mix of functional and divisional structures.

At its best, State might be called a balanced matrix organization, since it combines both function and divisional types. In a matrix organization, there are both horizontal and vertical linkages, with various "products" overseen by executives connected to the organization as a whole. (And in this case, the organization as a whole is formally under the President of the U.S.).

Horizontal or Vertical:

It is both. There are two clear lines of organization at State. First, those directly under the Secretary. These are totally vertical and comprise the legal adviser, inspector general, intelligence, legislative affairs, protocol, policy planning, civil rights, deputy secretaries and resources. These are directly under the Secretary of state and admit of no real autonomy. These are, so to speak, part of the Secretary of State's staff.

On the other hand, the horizontal approach is found with the undersecretaries. These are answerable to the Secretary of State, but, due to their specialized function, they retain a certain degree of autonomy. They are a part of the Department, but not so ...

Solution Summary

The solution assists with conducting an Internet search for a public administration organization.