11.3) Advantages of matrix organization
The matrix organizational structure divides authority both by functional area and by project. In a matrix structure, each employee answers to two immediate supervisors: a functional supervisor and a project supervisor. The functional supervisor is charged with overseeing employees in a functional area such asmarketing or engineering. Project supervisors manage a specific and often impermanent project. They absorb employees from various functional areas to complete their project teams. This kind of organizational structure has several advantages. The matrix structure allows supervisors to focus on their areas of expertise. Functional supervisors focus on hiring, training and managing employees in their field, while project supervisors can focus on achieving the goals of their specific projects or products. Placing employees in functional areas allows them to specialize in a particular field. Instead of being good at a variety of tasks, specialized employees can excel at tasks in their field of focus. When isolated in a functional area, employees may have more difficulty benefiting from the skills and experiences of those in other areas. In a matrix structure, employees have constant contact with members of other functional areas via their membership in project teams. Through the project team, employees have the opportunity to develop a wider set of skills than they would in a purely functional structure. Since employees have constant contact with members of different functional areas, the matrix structure allows for information and resources to travel more fluidly between those functional areas. The collaboration between functional areas allows a project team to better handle complex challenges and objectives. The matrix structure allows for human resources to be shared flexibly across different projects or products. Functional areas maintain a stock of talented employees to meet projects' requirements.
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