Matrix Management Essay

2410 words - 10 pages

Title: Matrix management: The replacement of organisational hierarchy?
Section 1: Introduction
In the dynamic and changing business environment, matrix management maintains a respectable position alongside the more familiar hierarchical management. Many organisations have acknowledged the need for matrix management that will enable them to respond to the increasing competitive and complex business environment. The development of matrix management is supported by the rationale that a complex world of business requires a complex organisational structure. Therefore, the multi-dimensional matrix organisational structure enable the organisation perform better in an increasing sophisticated ...view middle of the document...

The example of divisional hierarchy can be seen in motor vehicle manufacturing company where there are different division such as truck, motorcar and accessories division. Meanwhile, activities connected to a individual function are organised into department in the functional hierarchical structure (Sloan, 1963). For instance, the human resources department is coordinating the personnel activities for all divisions of an organisation.

According to Jennergen (1981), matrix management is a type of organisation design that involves dual-authority relations, where divisional and functional structures been combined together. In matrix organisation, an employee is in charge for more than one function and reporting to his direct manager and other function managers.

The primary purpose of matrix management is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of an organisation by combining both functional and divisional structure. Traditional matrix organisation is a two dimension structure, where the functional dimension is combined with the output dimensions such as customer, area, product and service (Burton et al., 2006). However, the dynamic business environment in recent years has encourage the application of three and more dimensional structure, where the matrix is combination of three dimension such as functional - area - product, functional - product - service and etc. (Burton et al., 2006).

Despite its inherent complexity, increasing organisations are practising the matrix management due to its competitive advantages. The main advantage of matrix management is it complication, that fulfils the requirements of complex and dynamic business environment. In addition, matrix management allows the manager to associate the services of employees by collaborate them into a project, irrespective of their function. In addition, matrix management also enable priority overriding, where the resources of an organisation can be pooled together to achieve the strategic objective of the organisation. It draws on the full potential of the personnel resources and cuts through bureaucratic lines of control. Nonetheless, matrix management also encountered several challenges in its implementation as discussed below:

1. According to Knight (1977), one of the main challenges of matrix management is the misalignment of organisational goals among many different dimensions. The misalignment of goals in an organisation is mainly due to contradictory of objectives among different dimensions of matrix. This problem happened when there is inadequate coordination, and short of interaction and communication among the different dimension in matrix. As a result, the employees will feel confuse when a functional objective is conflict with the division objectives. For example, when a manager of production plan out the training programme from his subordinate for the next following year without consultation with the human resources department, the conflict of objective...

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