Discuss some of the supposed disadvantages associated with a matrix structure. In your opinion, what advantages might exist that would neutralize any disadvantages? Are there any unique implementation problems that might need to be addressed in such a structure? [4 Marks]
It is also seen in multinational organizations where each country wise entity may maintain similar structure.
The disadvantages of Matrix type of organization are:
- Internal Complexity: Results in internal functional and hierarchical complexity and employees may get confused with simultaneous instructions from two or more people. They will not understand who shall take care of their appraisals, goals and their other administrative needs. The sharing of human resources between two or more managers may lead to a conflict and also the employees may start exploiting the situation of multiple managers. Dual or multiple sharing may lead to communicational problems and inefficiencies in the system.
- Expensive to maintain and internal conflict: The overhead costs and cost of work hours increases as there is double management. The sharing of employees may lead to unhealthy egoistic competition between the managers.
This type of structure is adopted mostly by organizations carrying out multiple projects of similar nature. In such a situation some of the expensive resources are shared in different projects. These resources move from one project to another as they complete one project.
Similarly some organizations work on task forces. The task forces are created for one or multiple projects. Instead of maintaining independent resources for each project, the task forces are created, in which the scarce resources are shared, need based.
In creating the matrix type of structure, normally a need of each resource based on the business strategy and the work load is created. Some of the resources, which may not be required for full time for one job or the project can be scheduled in such a way that the same resource can be shared between multiple projects or tasks. But the careful resource work load plan needs to be prepared in such cases so that the optimum use of the resources us assured, at the same time the project progress should also be maintained.