Matrix Structure - Superior to Divisional and Functional Structures

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  • Topic: Organizational structure, Organization, Hierarchy
  • Pages : 4 (1254 words )
  • Download(s) : 1241
  • Published : February 12, 2013
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A matrix structure is superior to a functional and a divisional structure. Please, comment on this statement. In your answer, pay special attention to advantages and disadvantages of each structure and discuss them systematically.

"If the body be feeble, the mind will not be strong" (Thomas Jefferson, 1786). If the foundation something is built upon is weak, the whole object will be adversely affected. Likewise, in an abstract manner, it is with any kind of model or structure. Looking at it from a business perspective, one wants to find the best possible structure or model to fit an organization. Organizations exist with a variety of different structures. The main structures are the "divisional", the "functional" and the "matrix" structure. This essay shall analyze whether the matrix structure is a more sophisticated organizational structure than the functional or divisional structures. In order to evaluate whether a matrix structure is indeed superior, at first the different structures will be introduced and discussed, depicting supporting and opposing arguments for each structure. The findings will be synthesized and evaluated thereafter. Due to the length of the essay, the focus shall merely lie on the main aspects of the matrix structure and not go into closer detail on the variations of matrix structures.

Using a divisional hierarchy, an organization is divided into divisions where all activities according to a specific product group, type of customer, process or market are grouped together (Stanford 2007). For example, a company may have a European and an American division working independently with all respective departments. The managers of the departments would report to the supervisor in their country. In contrast, using a functional hierarchy, an organization is divided into departments according to their functions (Anand and Daft 2007, p. 330). For instance, a company may have a European and an American division with functional departments...
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