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Hi,

In an organisation:

Department > Division

or

Department < Division ?

What is the difference between department and division?

Thanks

Quoc
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Comments  (Page 2) 
Hi,

The large companies that I have worked for have been divided into divisions, and each division has contained several departments. In my experience, this seems a standard way of organizing a large company.

Clive
Question: which one listed first - if the department is bigger than the division what would be listed first??
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Hi,

It depends on what kind of list it is.
Can you show us an example?

Clive
If may add my 2 cents. I do believe that a "Division" is a broader, less defined entity than "Department" (no matter how government agencies are broken down - which I will get to in a second). When we think of a Division, it is to "divide" or separate the company into logical units or "functional areas".

For this reason, a "Sales Division" may include the "CA Sales Department", "NY Sales Department", etc. These would then be further broken down into other business units (organizational units) called "Teams" or "Regions" (HINT: Never name your business objects after what some manager tells you, they change terminology daily once a new "buzzword" hits the market).

Now, when you look at this in the reverse situation, and this is where governments come into play, you get the feeling that a "Department" is 'larger' than a "Division", but really it's in how they worded it. Go look at how government agencies are naming their locations: "Department of Human Resources - Employment Division". Well, this is because they are looking at it from their perspective and not that of the top-level parent company/entity "UNITED STATES" (corporation #4 - yes, the U.S. IS in it's 4th bankruptcy and this is it's 4th corporate charter we're in).

Now, from the perspective of the top-level parent company, they would just flip that around and say "Employment Division -> Deparment of Human Resources".
Hierarchially we'd see:
-- Employment Division
--------> Department of Human Resources (external/internal)
--------> Department of Payroll (internal)
etc.

So, it's all in how you look at it at a which level you are looking at it from. However, as a general rule, you start out with the broadest level (Division) and word down to the detail levels (Departments, Teams, Groups, etc.).
Good answer!
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I've got a simple blue print in my small company, I would rather use department as a functional differentiation while division on major product lines. Currently each product line managed by the same people within the same particular respective department. Then when the company as well as the product division gets bigger, each division will have their own departments according to functionalities. Once it gets too big, the division will be splitted into separate companies or subsidiaries with a new company as a holding one.

Compare in the US Government:

e.g., Justice Department

Within the Justice Department: a Criminal Division, a Civil Division, an Anti-Trust Division, a Civil Rights Division, etc...

I work as a Department Head of a municipal government. It's Department first, then Division. Let me put it this way. A department is a category and a division is dividing that category. Take a department store for example, it is divided into several categories, such as pharmacy and groceries. In Government we have a Public Works Department and it is divided into categories such as Sanitation Division, or Park and Recreation Division. As the size of the city grows, sometimes divisions become there own departments and get there own Department Head/Director. For Example, Parks, Streets and Storm-water and Water Treatment might be in the Public Works Department, but if a city gets big enough, then Parks becomes it's own department, Water and the new Sewer plant become part of the new Utilities department, Streets and Storm-Water become the only thing in the Public Works Department. This is pretty standard among all municipalities that I have worked for.

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May I ask, which country do you work in?