Cross-sectional analysis of relationship between strategic orientation, structural arrangements and size of enterprises in Croatia – a pilot study

  • Danijela Mihanović Faculty of Economics, Business and Tourism, University of Split, Split, Croatia
  • Ivan Matić Faculty of Economics, Business and Tourism, University of Split, Split, Croatia
Keywords: enterprise size, mechanistic and organic characteristics, organizational structure, strategic orientation, strategy


Objective: To investigate the relationship between the two basic constructs of organizational design, strategic orientation, and structural arrangements, as well as to re-examine the role of enterprise size in the variations of both constructs.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out by regular mail in the first half of 2019, using already existing and empirically validated measurement instruments for the constructs of strategic orientation and organizational structure characteristics. Management board representatives or managing directors of the contacted enterprises were asked for their views on the situation in their enterprise in relation to the researched constructs. Descriptive and bivariate statistical analyses were performed.

Results: On the sample of 37 enterprises, the strategic orientation ‘analyzer enterprise’ was predominant. In addition, organic organizational structure characteristics slightly prevailed over mechanistic characteristics. A regression analysis was carried out, establishing a positive relationship between strategic orientation and organizational structure characteristics (R2=0.160; P=0.014), especially with communication as a characteristic of mentioned organizational structure (R2=0.239; P=0.002). T-tests confirmed the significance of the role of enterprise size for organizational structure characteristics (P=0.067). In other words, larger enterprises tend to foster mechanistic organizational structure characteristics. Variations in the types of strategic orientation of enterprises were not related to the size of those enterprises (P=0.296).

Conclusion: The design and adaptation of organizational and structural arrangements of enterprises are related to their selected strategic orientation. An increase in enterprise size inevitably leads to more rigid mechanistic structural arrangements, while the status of a small enterprise does not automatically imply the ‘prospector’ strategic orientation or the successful development and implementation of innovations.

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