Understanding the organization and its dynamics is critical for career success. You want to have a feel for and good understanding of how your organization works, and you also must have a firm grasp on processes, results, and outcomes if you want to progress within the system. When you understand the purpose of an organization, how it works as a system, and the roles of people in an organization, you make the most out of your own role, as well as prepare for other positions within the system.

The Organization and Its Characteristics 

Simply put, organizations are a collection of two or more people brought together to achieve a main organizational goal or a variety of goals. Organizations can exist to make a profit, be not-for-profit, or be government-run organizations. The people in organizations routinely react and engage each other, share common goals, and are tasked in their roles (Baack, Reilly, and Minnick, 2014).  

The Organization: A People, Process, and Structure Model to Consider 

When you think of an organization, think about the bigger picture—envision and conceptualize it. To help you see it even more, visualize the organization. Inside the organization are people, processes, and structures that all operate together as a system to accomplish goals, tasks, initiatives, and outcomes. The desired goals, tasks, and plans are inputs contributing to the organizational culture. The favorable outcomes and results are the expected outcomes from the organization and unfavorable outcomes may occur as well.

organizational chart

Use this model as a template to visualize your organization. Understand the organization’s goals, your goals, and where they align. The organization is a powerful tool.


Written by Bill Davis, MA, CM, assistant faculty in the Forbes School of Business and Technology™ and and Dr. Mike Reilly, former faculty member



Baack, D., Reilly, M., & Minnick, C., & (2014). The five functions of effective management (2nd ed). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

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