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coordinationthe process of combining together the work of ORGANIZATION members and departments to achieve the desired end-product or goals of the organization. Coordination is necessary at two levels:
- the bringing together of production tasks to achieve production goals with the minimum of waste, buffer stocks, etc.;
- the coordination of all organizational functions to achieve effective and efficient operations and the maintenance of the organization as a viable entity.
Coordination of a complex range of activities is fraught with problems, and it is a central issue in the design and running of organizations. Some organizations seek to achieve coordination by formulating a range of rules and procedures to guide and govern the work of employees and departments. Others prefer to rely on the skills, knowledge and commitment of their employees to interpret what forms of coordination are necessary (see MECHANISTIC AND ORGANISMIC, CULTURE). Most organizations adopt a combination of the two. In all organizations, however, the need for coordination is embodied in the formal structure. Some adopt a FUNCTIONAL STRUCTURE, some a PRODUCT-BASED STRUCTURE, whilst others adopt a MATRIX STRUCTURE explicitly to tackle problems of coordination.