Matrix Organizational Structure Essay

948 words - 4 pages

Organizational structure is the way that an organization arranges people and jobs so that work can be performed and goals can be achieved. Good organizational design helps communications, productivity, and innovation. Many organization structures have been created based on organizational strategy, size, technology, and environment. Robbins and Judge (2011, p. 504) listed three common structures: simple, bureaucracy, and matrix. In this post the author will describe the matrix structure, and discuss its advantages and disadvantages.

Matrix structure is first introduced in the aerospace industry in the 1960s and become one of the popular organizational design options in today’s business ...view middle of the document...

The functional departmentalization will group the like specialists together to minimize the number necessary while allowing the pooling and sharing of specialized resources across products. The product departmentalization will facilitate coordination among specialties to achieve on-time completion and meet budget targets and provides clear responsibility for all activities related to a product (Robbins & Judge, 2011, p. 497). As a result, the matrix structure helps promoting cross-functional problem solving, reducing cost by leveraging resources, creating a balance of power between functions, balancing competing priorities (such as global vs. local or product vs. geography), fostering innovation, focusing on key issues, and accelerating products and services to market before (Derven & Alexandria, 2010).

The major disadvantages of the matrix lie in the confusion it creates, its propensity to foster power struggles, and the stress it places on individuals (Robbins & Judge, 2011 cited in Sy & Cote, 2004). The weakness of a matrix organization arises from the dual reporting structure. The matrix structure is complex, so it can have the unintended consequence of reducing intended goals of speed, innovation, and collaboration. Multiple factors can inhibit successful matrix functioning, including reduced accountability, internal competitiveness, slower, not faster decision making, greater conflict, and focus on internal politics at the expense of an external customer focus (Derven & Alexandria, 2010).

One of the successful cases using matrix structure is the Avon Products, Inc. Avon is a $10 billion consumer products company. In 2005, the CEO Andrea Jung faced a difficult problem: the company’s growth had outpaced organizational capacity (Carter & Goldsmith, n.d.). Jung and her team realized that in order to move forward, the company had to be restructured and the current regional structure had to be transformed. They realized that by consolidating expertise to deploy to projects as needed, the matrix structure can promote more efficient use of corporate resources, leverage...

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