Four Common Organizational Structures Explained by William T. Sugg

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William T Sugg Four Common Organizational Structures William T Sugg Four Common Organizational Structures
William T. Sugg

Healthcare executive, William T. Sugg, uses his experience to break down the inner workings of a hospital.

Running a large-scale hospital requires a strategic plan and flawless execution, because people’s lives are on the line, after all. High quality services must be offered around the clock, meaning a large team of staff must be functioning precisely. Organizations must create and implement an organizational structure, which is a system that explains how projects and activities are directed and run.

A hospital management structure should include specific details about rules, positions, and responsibilities as well as a plan for how information moves between people. There are many different types of organizational structures that can be used in a hospital setting, or even a combination of more than one.

With more than 25 years of business experience, William T. Sugg, founder of a 501c (3) Healthcare Foundation and a Corporate University, explains four commonly used organizational structures.


A divisional organizational structure is very commonly found in hospitals and healthcare organizations. With this system, team members are grouped together based on their specializations in effort to achieve a high level of efficiency. For example, based on experience and expertise, doctors and nurses are divided into different areas in the hospital like pediatrics, surgery, radiology, etc.


Commonly seen in younger companies, a flat organizational structure better represents a liberal management system where each team member is their own boss. William T. Sugg describes the characteristics of a flat organizational structure to include more open communication policies and shared work spaces.


A functional organizational system is regularly seen in small and medium sized organizations and promotes quick decision making. Employees are grouped together based on the tasks they perform within the organization. For example, the finance department might include an accountant, auditor, chief financial officer, a financial analyst, etc. This helps people working closely towards a common goal have better communication and teamwork. William T. Sugg describes a con to the functional organizational structure as a lack of communication between different departments within the organization as a whole. It can lead to groups having a narrow focus on their tasks instead of seeing the company vision or big picture.


A matrix organizational system combines components of the functional and divisional systems. First, people are grouped into functional departments, and are then separated even more into divisional projects. This system allows employees to have a lot of freedom, and also a lot of responsibility. It promotes innovation and creativity, and is one of the most popular systems used today. This is the most complex system, and William T. Sugg knows it requires strategic planning and excellent execution.

About William T. Sugg

Throughout his management career, William T. Sugg, also known as Bill, has worked through almost every major crisis possible in a hospital setting, including deadly tornadoes, floods, fires, scandals and rebuilding the 17th most beautiful hospital in the United States. He is a politically astute healthcare executive with more than 25 years of experience. His leadership style is approachable, transparent, and people centered. William T. Sugg believes in a strong teamwork culture that promotes respect, trust, commitment, and dedication to goals and values.