Matrix Organization

Matrix Organization

The matrix organization is an organizational structure that has the characteristics of both a divisional organization and a function-based organization.
A matrix means a matrix in mathematics in which numbers and letters are arranged vertically and horizontally, and as shown in the figure above, it has a dual structure in which divisions are organized vertically and organizations by function are organized horizontally.
Although it is based on a divisional organization, each function within the division is also organized as a company-wide organization.
The overall organization of the organization should not be centered on a single division axis, but should also be a dual organizational structure centered on the function axis.
It is not always the case that the business or product is the vertical axis and the function is the horizontal axis, but there are other customer types, regions (areas), etc. that can be along either axis . > Also, it is an organizational structure in which multiple command lines and reporting routes are provided in multiple ways at each level of the organization.

A characteristic of the matrix organization is that it has two different organizational structures at the same time, abandoning the traditional organizational principle of command unification . In other words, the individuals who belong to the organization belong to the functional department and the business department at the same time, and have two bosses.
For example, the production department of Division A is not only under the command of the General Manager of Division A, but also under the command of the production officer at the head office.
It is also called a matrix organization because one production manager is under the command of both vertical and horizontal, with the business as vertical and the function as horizontal.



History of matrix organization

The Matrix organization is said to have been first adopted by the American Aerospace Industry (NASA) in the 1960s to carry out multiple projects.
At that time, NASA had multiple projects, including the Apollo program, so it was judged that it would be difficult for conventional business division organizations and function-based organizations to deal with it, and managers were assigned to each of the multiple projects.
At that time, it was called the project manager system, and managers were assigned to each project, and the project teams were organized across the board into functional organizations. One day, what was positioned as a temporary organizational structure only for the project became universal and became a matrix organization.



Three types of matrix organization

Week type

The weak type is to increase the degree of freedom of each employee and make them respond more speedily because there is no need to assign a specific project manager and seek instructions from the person in charge. It is a type that features. The biggest advantage is that you can make quick decisions and respond quickly to sudden changes. However, since the command system becomes ambiguous, it becomes difficult to grasp the progress of each employee’s work, and as a result, the achievement of the goal may be delayed. Communication is required.


Strong type

The strong type is a type that sets up a specialized project team that emphasizes the command system . Therefore, it is a feature that a person with high expertise in management who can give more accurate instructions and judgments becomes the person in charge, so that the project can be organized and the burden on employees can be reduced.
In addition, having a person with a high degree of expertise in management as a manager makes it easier to give appropriate instructions and responses to members.
However, because the project manager has strong authority and various decisions are prioritized over the managers of other departments, there is a possibility of conflict with the employees who are actually executing the project in the field. For companies that often carry out multiple projects, it is necessary to set up as a department. In terms of human resources and funds, it is not suitable for companies that do not have resources.


Balanced type

The balanced type is a type that selects the person in charge of the project from within the project team . It can be said that it is a type located between the weak type and the strong type. Therefore, it has the advantage of being easy to introduce in terms of funds and human resources.
The biggest feature of the balanced type is that it is directly related to the business and that there is a person in charge, so that the overall movement can be overlooked and the business can proceed smoothly.
However, in some cases, the person in charge of the functional department also serves as the project manager, and there is also a person in charge in the department other than the person selected in the project team, so there is a possibility that confusion or conflict with multiple instructions may occur. there is.
In addition, the burden on appointed employees is heavy because both project work and management work are performed in parallel.



Advantages of matrix organization

Benefits of both divisional and functional organizations

By balancing the mobility of the business division organization and the stability of the organization by function, it is possible to flexibly respond to changes in the environment.
For example, in the case of an organization that employs two axes, function and region, the person in charge can maintain the expertise of each function and the factory and the region by directing and supervising both the function and the region. It will be possible to achieve both market adaptability of .
In other words, for each employee, there are two or more leaders, and each area of ​​expertise gives instructions to the employee. Pyramid organizations have the disadvantages of delaying the transmission of command and obscuring the evaluation of successful employees, but the matrix organization can be said to have overcome them.


Human resources can be utilized functionally and actively

When you start a new business or product, you can effectively utilize existing human resources without hiring new human resources. The flexibility to hire existing employees allows you to work on multiple businesses without the need for new hires or major transfers. You can improve work efficiency while maintaining each specialty.
Also, by setting a period, the goal becomes clear and it becomes easier to fulfill the responsibility. In addition, by making it relatively easy to develop diversified employees and increasing the number of businesses in charge, it will be possible to deepen understanding not only of the department to which one belongs but also of the organization and the entire company.



Disadvantages of matrix organization

Command system commands are duplicated.

The following three disadvantages are created by duplicating the command system.

① Employees are easily confused, resulting in inefficiency

Having two command lines can be confusing for employees with multiple managers and bosses due to inconsistent instructions and policies . It can cause conflicts and friction between teams. If the decision-making is not unified, the work will be complicated and it will cause big troubles in the work, so it is necessary to communicate with each other.
In addition, employees will have two bosses, a project manager and a department manager, which can lead to discrepancies and confusion. Therefore, it is essential to prepare in advance to have a common understanding of organizational restructuring within the company and to organize the rules for the command system.

② Frequent coordination between departments

Due to the duplication of the command system, problems that need to be coordinated between departments frequently occur, so we give appropriate instructions and provide support according to the situation of employees, etc. Ability is required. It is also necessary to share information with each other to better understand the situation of the organization, and to clear each role to prevent confusion of the chain of command. Careful consideration should be given to employee care and work distribution, such as regular hearings.


③ The power balance between managers is likely to affect organizational operations and decision-making.

The greatest merit and demerit of the matrix organization is the dualization of the command system, but if the authority of the dualized administrators is the same, conflicts between administrators are likely to occur. Since both sides have command and command functions, a good balance of power between them is the key to success.
If this power balance is not maintained well, there is a risk of conflict between the two sides, and it may not be possible for the person in charge to know what to prioritize, which may cause confusion in the business.
In order to overcome this issue, ingenuity to give greater responsibility and authority to one axis and clarify it is required, but it is decided which axis the company wants to prioritize. ..


Not a valid organizational structure in all situations

Since the matrix organization is complicated as can be seen from the expression of a dualized organization system such as a matrix, the demerit effect will be stronger if it is adopted by an organization with a simple structure.
Therefore, a matrix organization may have specific conditions, such as high uncertainty and high level of information processing , or sharing of resources such as human resources . It is effective for.



Related Terms

Functional organization structure
Function structure is one of the structures of a management organization, and refers to an organization that is organized according to work content such as development, sales, production, personnel, and accounting, along with divisional organization and matrix organization. This is the basic organizational structure of ...
Divisional organizational structure
Divisional organization structure is one of the basic organizational structures as well as functional organizations and matrix organization ,and this organization is divided into roles according to the products and services provided.(ex. Television Division, Refrigerator Division, etc.) In addition, it is applied not only to ...
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Matrix Organization

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