Matrix Organisational Structure
The Matrix Structure
Sometimes an organisation needs to run according to what projects they have to do. In these situations people usually work together in a team to achieve their projects goals. A person working on a project would have two bosses, the boss of the department that they work in and the leader or manager of the particular project that they are working on at the moment. A project may cover some or all of the organisations departmental areas.
For example in the aerospace industry (manufacture and development of aeroplanes and spacecraft) the government might ask for a space shuttle type aircraft to be developed and manufactured. Another government department might ask for a spacecraft to go to Mars. Obviously these craft would be very different. How could an organisation set itself up to complete both projects? Well it might set up two project groups. The Mars group and the shuttle group, both of which would utilise resources, staff etc from all of the different departments in the organisation. When the projects are completed, these project groups would be disbanded
This is a preview of the whole essay
As a firm grows it sometimes needs to set up branches in other locations.
A firm may wish to allow these branches to work as autonomous units, that means that they are like little organisations of there own making local decisions but guided by the policy decisions made at the head office.
For example some large 'fast food' chains often work in this way with a head office and suburban branches which are run by a "manager". The head office provides services and support but is not closely involved in the day to day running of the branch. While the branch manager does have scope to make decisions this is limited as compared to a completely separate business.
In this type of organisational structure the division of work is the most important part. Jobs and activities are grouped together. This is called departmentation. This is a very popular model.
This structure may be varied in a number of ways.
Division by Product or Service.
Here the organisation is divided up according to the product (such as in a supermarket - toiletries, fruit and vegetables, etc.) or the service (such as a local council's sanitation area including waste disposal, recycling, street sweeping and maintenance etc.)
Division by Customer
This could include a sales business which is divided into wholesale and retail sections to cater to the needs of the public and businesses.
Division by process or equipment
A printing firm, for example, may use this sort of division in order to keep all of its printing functions in the one area, for example a screen printing department for T-shirts and a card section for the printing of business cards.
The General structure.
One of the ways in which we can explain the structure of an organisation is through an organisational chart. This charts usually show the title of each managers position and using connecting lines show who is accountable to whom and who has responsibility for which department. It doesn't tell you everything about the organisation such as the communication channels and liaising between departments but it is a useful conceptual tool so that one can think of the organisation as a whole and understand how all its parts fit together.
Towards the top of the structure is usually centred most of the power while as we move down through the structure there is less authority and status.