Organizational Architecture

Organizational Architecture is "a theory of the firm, or multiple firms, which integrates the human activities and capital resource utilization within a structure of task allocation and coordination to achieve desired outcomes and performance for both the short run and the strategic long run" (Burton and Obel, 2011a, 2011b).[1]

Elements and Misalignments of Organizational Architecture

The 5 Elements of Organizational Architecture[2]
Watkins identifies the five elements of organizational architecture:

  • Strategy: the core approach the organization will use to accomplish its goals.
  • Structure: How people are situated in units and how their work is coordinated.
  • Systems: The process used to add value.
  • Skills: The capabilities of the various groups of people in the organization.
  • Culture: The values, norms, and assumptions that shape behavior.

Identifying Misalignments of Organizational Architecture
Watkins identifies three common misalignments:

  • Skills and strategy misalignments.
  • Systems and strategy misalignments.
  • Structure and systems misalignments.

See Also


  1. Definition: What is Organizational Architecture? -ICOA
  2. What are the 5 Elements of Organizational Architecture? J.D. Meier