Matrix Organizational Structure

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|THE CTL EUROCOLLEGE | |MGT 601 MANAGEMENT AND ORGANIZATION | |SYNGENTA | | | |Michael Osei Nkrumah | |6/5/2011 |


1. Syngenta is a world-leading plant science Swiss global company committed to promoting sustainable agriculture through innovative research and technology. The core values that inspire performance at Syngenta include innovation, intensity, health and performance.

The company operates in both national and international markets with staff strength of about 24,000 people in 90 different countries serving farmers and governments.

The markets in which Syngenta operates require innovation, well qualified scientists, technical skills and expertise. The company also needs supporting functions such as sales and marketing, manufacturing, research and development, finance and the likes to ensure that, outputs of the scientific process i.e. finished products reach the final markets and customers. In response to the complex nature of Syngenta’s operations, the company makes use of a matrix management structure where it draws on the expertise, skills, knowledge and talents of its staff from every department or function to execute projects. In other words, a project being executed is composed of workers from the various departments or functions who bring their specialism on board at Syngenta.

The reasons behind Syngenta’s adoption of the matrix organizational structure reside in the fact that it operates at an international level and the features of this structure in the face of a highly unstable environment. The features include:

• Decentralization: the matrix structure has the most decentralized structure allowing the various teams to take initiatives and respond to multifaceted demands. The matrix structure through decentralization also enables Syngenta to operate effectively at the international level and in various geographic regions including Europe, Africa, Middle East and the NAFTA region i.e. United States, Canada and Mexico.

• Departmentalization: the matrix structure is not an alternative to functional or departmental management but works alongside it. Concretely, Syngenta uses a combination of matrix and functional structures to support its business strategies. In essence, the task force for a project draws human resources from the various departments, each with their own specialism and expertise related to the project. Employees are drawn out of their usual functions to work with other employees with different specialism and expertise. This ensures that the said project has all the skills it needs to achieve its target. And so one is likely to find someone from research and development, someone from global supply (supply chain management, manufacturing and logistics), someone from sales and marketing and someone from global support functions (legal, financial and HR services) working together on one project.

• Span of Management: also known as span of control, is a very important concept of organizing function in management. It refers to the number of subordinates that...
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