The primary organizational structures
Organizational structures are the patterns or arrangement of tasks and groups of jobs within an organization. The patterns pertain to both reporting and operational relationships, as long as they contain some level of performance. The organizational structures are made up of a variety of components like the departments, management hierarchy, rules and procedures, and temporary building blocks such as committees. The various examples of organization structures include functional, matrix and pre project management. The structures differ in the manner in which they are always implemented. However, their implementation facilitates the achievement of organizational goals in an efficient manner.
The functional structure is considered the oldest organizational structure even though its methods still, remain very y helpful (Russell, 2010). The method would be best applicable in matters that involve simple projects. It is structured hierarchically with a strong concept of subordination. The structures allow each job to become the point of focus. In this way the similar function based jobs done by the employees are put together in the silos in the functional structure based organization (Rebecca, 2010). Since specialization is centralized and employees who are doing the specialized jobs are clustered unique department are developed. In this structure the organization tries to allocate the people available according to their roles forming what is referred to as a functional department each of which has a head with the title of departmental manager.
Its advantages include the fact that there is chain of command which is linear and sound. Secondly the human resource abilities are constantly nurtured by concentrated tutoring, leadership and guidance. Furthermore, there is development of professional expertise attained by clustering specialists which then function as a single unit. Finally it provides an easy path for the employees to grow within the organizational sideways as well as upwards in the organizational tree (Project management, 2009). On the other hand, the disadvantages are that decision making is bureaucratic and far from practical. The flow of information and synchronization between functional departments may be complicated. In addition, the speed of resolving problem could be slow and inefficient. Lastly grouping based on functions can result in a lack of broader view from the employees leading to narrow vision.
The pure project structure is specifically designed for executing projects. In this structure all the work is viewed as a project. According to Russell, it is specifically tailored to meet the demands of complex projects by isolating unique work and maintaining a strong focus on completing the project (Russell, 2010). The project manager is the one who takes the control of the whole operation. The other members that make up the team may be hired as temporary workers to help in the project.
The advantage of this structure is that the project manager has the opportunity to progress in the career. Furthermore, since there exists good communication within the project the team members get to be more committed to the work and excel in their responsibilities. The disadvantage of this structure is that there are no long term goals. This is because ones the project is completed the team breaks up and disperses. Furthermore, there is no sense of security for the workers. In addition to this the organization has to essentially clone the same resources for each project (Rebecca, 2010).
The matrix management technique of an organization is done through a series of dual–reporting relationships unlike the traditional linear management structure. This technique is mostly applicable with the highly collaborative and complex projects like building aircraft. It combines both the functional and projectized structures. The two are organized simultaneously in order to get the advantages from both (Reference for business). In this structure every team member reports to the functional manager and the project manager. In a scenario where the matrix is weak, the power resides more with the project manager while if the matrix is too strong most of the power reside with the functional manager. A point of balance is always aimed for the powers of the two leaders in order to achieve a balanced matrix. If the system is balanced the project managers and functional group mangers theoretically have the same authority within the company. In this way the employees report to at least two managers. For example, a member of the accounting department might be assigned to work with the consumer product division, and would report to mangers of both departments.
The matrix structure has the advantages that it facilitates rapid response to change in two or more environments (Management lab). The structure is more flat and responsive than other types of structures because they permit more efficient exchange of information. In addition to this the matrix may result in a more efficient use of resources than other structures. This is because there is sharing of equipment between the highly specialized employees of different departments.
The system as well has some disadvantages. For instance it is typically very expensive to maintain because of the more complex reporting requirements. Workers also may become disturbed by lack of t a chain of command. The lack of chain of command can always result in confusion when different commands are given to a subordinate by the different bosses.
In conclusion, since it can be observed that the various structures have different benefits and drawbacks, it therefore calls for the selection of the appropriate one to be used depending on the situation and the type of organization.
The Management lab, Accessed on August 23, 2010 from www.managementlab.org/files/u2/pdf/…/Matrix_Management.pdf
Russell M. (2010), Organizational Structures in Project Management, Accessed on August 23, 2010 from http://ezinearticles.com/?Organizational-Structures-In-Project-Management&id=424910
Rebecca T. (2010), types of organizational structures, Accessed on August 23, 2010 from http://www.ehow.com/about_5396817_types-organization-structures.html
References for business, Matrix Management and structure, Accessed on August 23, 2010 from http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/encyclopedia/Man-Mix/Matrix-Management-and- Structure.html
Project management (2009), Accessed on August 23, 2010 from http://www.project-management- course.info/project-leadership-vs-project-management