Summary of Species of Organizations

Henry Mintzberg,

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Species of Organizations summary
Before you make your next business decision, know what kind of organization is involved.


8 Overall

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9 Innovation

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While it is possible to classify animals by their species, the vocabulary available to describe companies, on the other hand, is more “primitive.” Renowned management and strategy expert Henry Mintzberg makes a compelling argument for the use of a new classification structure when describing businesses. He introduces four “species of organizations” and describes their defining traits. getAbstract recommends this article to students, managers, consultants and entrepreneurs looking for a new way to frame the discussion around organizational structure.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why industry needs more nuanced vocabulary for describing organizations,
  • How the four “species of organizations” differ and
  • Why current literature about organizations is deficient.


Currently, if you want to talk about a type of organization, you have to discuss its industry – automotive, pharmaceutical, customer service, and so on. Yet this style of description is misleading; it lacks nuance. The result is that professionals apply similar sets of standards and strategies to very...
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About the Author

Henry Mintzberg is a professor of management studies at McGill University in Montreal. He is the author of Managers Not MBAs, Tracking Strategies, Simply Managing and Rebalancing Society.

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