What is a matrix structure in an organization? Please explain.

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mr-angel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ok, a Matrix structure is one of the ways that an organization sets up its control and delegation of tasks.  Lets start by comparing the matrix structure to something that it is not.  Think of a typical organization with workers, a supervisor, a regional manager, and corporate office management.  This is a hierarchical structure. 

Think of a matrix structure as the anti-hierarchy.  Each set of employees is broken up into projects or teams.  The team does not have a specific "boss," but may have a lead member that helps coordinate activities.  Each individual employee may belong to several teams, working on many projects at once.  They might be a leader in one team and a member of another.  By splitting up tasks without delegating from a central authority (such as a manager), some advocates of matrix organizations claim that employee creativity and freedom are maximized.  A good example of a matrix organization might be a software company that is developing several new products.  Each product or project might have 5 members (or more).  These teams are responsible for getting their products into production without a higher overseeing authority.

krishna-agrawala | Student

Matrix organization, sometimes also called project organization or grid organization, is a type of organization structure where the whole organization is divided into separate according to two independent criteria. In a typical matrix organization, one of the department division is according to functional specialization. For example, a project organization may be organized in different technical departments such as mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and civil engineering. In addition, project teams or departments are formed drawing required people from the technical departments. Typically, the employees may move from one project team to another as new projects are started but their parent technical department remains same.

In matrix organization each employee has a dual reporting relationship. An employee reports to the project manager for all maters relating to planning and executing project activities. The project manager also exercises administrative authority over the people in the team in matters such as sanction of leave. This ensures that the project activities are carried out smoothly in a coordinated way.

Employees also report for technical matters to their technical department heads. This ensures that the employees also receives adequate technical supervision and support from qualified people.

ayushiayushi | Student

Matrix Structure Matrix structure groups employees by both function and product. This structure can combine the best of both separate structures. An example would be a company that produces two products, "product a" and "product b". Using the matrix structure, this company would organize functions within the company as follows: "product a" sales department, "product a" customer service department, "product a" accounting, "product b" sales department, "product b" customer service department, "product b" accounting department. Matrix structure is the most complex of the different organizational structures.



aisha888 | Student

it is a combination of product and functional departments.in matrix structure every employee has dual authority and dual resposibility