The Nike sportswear company is organized in a matrix organizational structure, more commonly known as a flat organizational structure. According to Flatworld Knowledge, Nike is a model of a successful company that uses this structure effectively.
In a flat or matrix organization, employees report to project or product teams led by a product manager as well as to the department manager. With Nike, each brand has a department, and each department makes decisions independent of the CEO. Each department also has subdepartments or project teams responsible for handling minitasks within each department.
At Nike and in other flat or matrix organizations, the product team and product managers make decisions regarding product specifications and production. Department managers focus primarily on policy-related issues.
Global competition requires companies like Nike to react quickly to marketplace dynamics. In flat organizations, production teams led by product managers can make decisions and react much more quickly than the traditional department head, who is often removed from the production line.