Richard M. Burton

American organizational theorist

Richard M. Burton (born 1939) is an American organizational theorist, known for his work in the field on business strategy and organizational design.


  • Organizational design is the body of knowledge and techniques that seeks to offer useful advice to organizations about their structures (and other aspects) needed to attain their goals.
    • Richard M. Burton, ‎Bo Eriksen, ‎Dorthe Døjbak Håkonsson (2008). Designing Organizations: 21st Century Approaches. p. 5
  • In today's volatile world, organizational design is an everyday, ongoing activity and challenge for every executive, whether managing a global enterprise or a small work team. Globalization, worldwide competition, deregulation, and ever-new technologies drive the ongoing reassessment of the organization. The executive response has been many new forms of organizational design: virtual, learning, modular, cellular, network, alliance, or spaghetti – to name a few. New organizational forms challenge old ways of organizing for efficiency and effectiveness. Yet fundamental design principles underlie any well-functioning organization. Organizations still require a formal design.
    • Richard M. Burton, ‎Børge Obel, ‎Gerardine DeSanctis (2011). Organizational Design: A Step-by-Step Approach. p. 3
  • Today perhaps the most popular organizational theory is institutional theory.
    • Richard M. Burton, ‎Bo Eriksen, ‎Dorthe Døjbak Håkonsson (2006). Organization Design: The Evolving State-of-the-Art. p. 28

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