This essay will look at a case study based on a company by the name of Dow Corning and what problems they faced when introducing the matrix structure to their company. It will also contain possible methods that could have minimised the impact of the problems that had arisen during the course of the development.
The matrix structure as defined by David Needle (2010 p. 185) is a combination of the customer orientation of the project team and the economies of scale of the functional structure which focuses on specialist orientation and the product or market focus of the multidivisional structure which enforces product grouping. The matrix structure encourages individuals to work across teams and projects as well as within their own departments or functions in order to accomplish a main goal. For example, a project/task team established to develop a new product may include design specialists as well as those that obtain marketing and financial skills.
Dow corning encountered a range of problems as they switched to the matrix structure. One problem Dow corning encountered was conflict between the demands of the home and foreign markets as they didn’t have enough products to meet both sets of demands. This could have been reduced if Dow corning had created two teams. One for the production of the home products and another for the production of the foreign products, so that they could provide to both without having to cut down production on one and risk losing valuable customers and in order to motivate their employees they could have used a reward system so that if they managed to supply their customers with the desired product the employees involved would get a bonus or extra vacation time so that they feel as though they are valuable to the company. There was also conflict over the central supply of raw materials as they may have been sourcing locally before but when they went international they change their supplier to a foreign supplier as the...
References: Engels, F., Marx, K. (1818-1895)
Harris, B. (2013)
Needle, D. (2010)
Business in context: an introduction to business and its environment fifth edition.
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