Public Administration ETDs

Publication Date



One of the important consequences of increased R & D expenditures by both the government and private industry, after World War II, was the need for structuring the R & D organization to adapt to a changing environment. The environment that affected these organizations was composed of sharply fluctuating funding, rapid improvements in technology, and the special needs of the technical personnel within the R & D community. As a result, large scale R & D organizations have evolved into four adaptable organizational structures. They are the broad-span-of-control, the project, the functional, and the project-functional or matrix structures.

These organizational structures, along with the concept of highly effective and creative working groups as a foundation for these structures, are analyzed in order to create a model for R & D organizations. The model utilizes a systems approach to provide a dynamically adaptable organizational framework which can respond to changes in the assigned tasks, the technology used, and the demands of the personnel. The essential portions of the model are 1) the organization con­sidered as a system of four essential variables in the form of structure, technology, tasks, and personnel, 2) inputs consisting of parameters of the environment (loyalties, public interest, roles and values of the personnel, etc.), 3) processes of interactions which act as an interface between the environment and the variables, and 4) the output in the form of identifiable networks which indicate a more effective method of structuring the organization.

Since the inputs to the model are, at best, stochastic parameters, the user must measure the processes of interaction and assume that the environmental parameters will affect these processes. The processes can be measured through such means as sociograms and linear responsibility charts. The output of the model can be used to graphically portray the total organizational structure in terms of formal and informal networks. Because the various networks can be compared on a relative scale, the user can implement the model in a cyclic fashion to change the formal organization into a more adaptable structure, or he can eliminate dysfunctional interactions, depending on his subjective judgements.

Degree Name

Public Administration

Level of Degree


Department Name

School of Public Administration

First Committee Member (Chair)

John W. Beakly

Second Committee Member

Loren David Potter

Third Committee Member

William Clarence Martin



Document Type