Matrix organizations have become common in many businesses and industries. The organization is basically arranged so that workers with similar skill sets and specializations work together in the same department. This sort of arrangement has both advantages and disadvantages. Matrix organizations do not typically evolve organically but are rather the result of a specific plan that a business implements, often after debate.
When all the employees of a certain specialization are grouped together, they are able to better take advantage of teamwork to accomplish their collective tasks. Knowledge sharing is made more common, as employees can rely on a shared technical background when interacting with their co-workers. Workers will also be more likely to feel an affinity for one another, as they will have more in common, at least from the perspective of their work lives.
There will likely be more accountability in a business that has a matrix organizational structure. Workers and managers will be directly accountable for the quality of work that any department delivers. People will be less able to pass on the responsibility for the accomplishment of a task by saying it is not in their specialization. Every department will have a clear responsibility to deliver specific work that falls under its specialization area.
One of the disadvantages of a matrix organization is that it can lead to over-compartmentalization in a company. As each department focuses more and more on its own tasks, departments may fail to effectively communicate with one another. The overall cohesion of an organization can begin to break down if workers and managers begin to feel more of a commitment to their department than to the overall company. People may lose sight of the larger picture.
Though a matrix organization is meant to increase the specialization of different departments, areas of specialization can often overlap. For instance, a department that focuses on sales may also undertake some of the work of the advertising department. This sort of overlapping in specialization can create a needless redundancy in an organization, increasing its costs as managers and employees from different departments undertake tasks that could be accomplished by one department.
- "Harvard Business Review"; Lost in Matrix Management; Gill Corkindale; June 2008
- HR Management; The New Matrix Management; Cathy Cassidy; 2011
- Reference for Business: Matrix Management and Structure; Dave Mote; 2011
- PA Consulting Group: Matrix Managment --- Is It Right for You?; Jonathon Hogg; Sept. 10, 2010
- "The Economist"; Matrix Management; October 2009
- Project Times: Matrix Management Gone Awry; Chris Vandersluis
Role of Advertising in Product Differentiation
Product differentiation is an important aspect of any product line. One way to create product differentiation is through advertising. A great example...
Advantages & Disadvantages Dot Matrix Printers
The dot matrix system was the first printer type to gain popularity with the rise of the PC in the late 1980s....
The Advantages & Disadvantages of a Change in an Organization
Determine what organizational changes are appropriate for your company by first understanding the advantages and disadvantages of change in an organization. While...
Functional Vs. Matrix Organization Structure
How a firm organizes its employees will affect the way they work and how they perform collectively. Firms should, then, carefully consider...
Advantages and Disadvantages of Conflict Styles
Conflict occurs when two or more parties disagree with a principle or thought process, and resolution is needed before moving on. When...
Advantage & Disadvantage of Organizational Structures
Firms have organizational structures that show the relationship between the company’s employees and the responsibilities of said employees. Each firm’s organizational structure...
Advantages & Disadvantages of Becoming an Office Manager
Office managers oversee all facets of a business operation, and effective ones set a positive tone for employees and guests of the...
The Advantages of Matrix Structure in an Organization
Organizations with matrix structure formulate teams of skilled individuals from different business sections. Teams are established for a particular project, often headed...