Matrix Structures

Topics: Organizational structure, Project management, Team Pages: 5 (1901 words) Published: June 23, 2013
Matrix Structures
Natalie De La Hoz
Liberty University

This research paper will discuss matrix structures and matrix organization. It will go through a series of examples explaining the organizational levels a company must go through to complete a task. This paper will be explaining divisional, functional, and team structures and how each one has a different duty to attend to in order to fulfill a task and complete it to satisfy their customer’s needs. Pixar Animation Studios is going to be the company that will be an example of how matrix structures work to better a company and how it can take a company from the bottom to the top when done correctly.

Throughout the course of this paper it will be discussing the strengths on having a matrix structure executed in a business. There are many positives a matrix structure can do to a company such as changing the business environment, achieving a higher degree of readiness and market adaptation, and it can also have the ability to react to new customers demands. If a matrix structure is done and applied correctly it can change the whole company in a constructive way and may even potentially decrease lead-times of new products which can give the company more time to create a new product and make it better with all the time they are saving. There are many companies that have made a matrix system to better their corporations’ income, and produce new products to satisfy their consumers. In this paper it will explain matrix systems using Pixar as an example and how they started from the bottom to get where they are today.

A matrix structure is a form of a matrix organization. It is an organizational design that groups employees by both function and product. According to our book Organizational Management and Leadership, matrix organization is, “a matrix is a coordinative structural device which constructively blends the program orientation of project staffs with the specialty orientation of functional personal in a new and synergistic relationship.”(87). This is a form of divisional structure and means that a functional worker usually reports to the functional heads, but do not normally work under their supervision. Instead, the worker is ordered by the affiliation of a certain project, and each functional worker usually works under the direction of a project manager. This way, each worker has two administrators, who will equally guarantee the development of the assignment. The functional worker may be more attentive in developing the most exciting products or technologies, while the project manager may be more concerned with keeping a deadline and monitoring the product costs. There are many advantages to having such a structure in a business; our book says, “the advantage of such a structure is that each member brings different areas of expertise and experiences to the project group, creating synergy for the decision making process.” (87) A great example of a matric structure and matrix organizations would be Pixar Animation Studios. When a person works for Pixar everyone is assigned to a certain area in which they are experienced in and are experts as well. They are constantly working on new projects and need to report to their project managers to look over their work when they are done. When work is completed, the project team may get dissolved, and workers from different functional areas may get reassigned to other projects and duties.

The next structure that will be discussed is the functional structure. Our book explains a functional structure to be a “structure that groups together employees that perform similar duties.” (13). An advantage of a functional structure is that it helps bring people with similar interests and duties and gives them a chance to converse with each other and exchange ideas with one another that in a way helps contribute with the overall success of a business unit. An example of a functional structure would be how Steve...

References: Capodagli, B. (2010) Pixar’s Eight Beliefs That Vreate a Culture of Passion. HRM Today. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 28 Feb 2013].
CNET (2011) With Pixar, Steve Jobs changed the film Industry Forever. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 28 Feb 2013].
Melnic, A., & Puiu T. The Management of Human Resources Projects: the Structures of the Project Team, the Responsibility Assignment Matrix. Economy Transdisciplinarity Cognition, 14(1), 476-484.
Morgeson, Frederick P., Scott D. DeRue, and Elizabeth P. Karam. "Leadership in Teams: A Functional Approach to Understanding Leadership Structures and Processes." 5-39 36.1 (2010): 11. Jan. 2010. Web. 28 Feb. 2013.
Schlender, B. (2004). The Man Who Built Pixar’s Incredible Innovation Machine. Fortune, 150(10), 206-212.
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