The Matrix Structure
The matrix structure, which combines the functional and product organizational models, is typically developed for projects that call for both the expert skills of a functional man and the in-depth knowledge of a product man. A matrix structure is necessary for large turnkey projects in specialized fields.
The matrix’s apparent structural flaw is that it violates the idea of the unity of command. The functional department managers and the product managers are the two employers of the employees in the matrix. Consequently, there are two chains of command in the matrix.
The matrix’s strength comes in its capacity to ease coordination when an organization has a large number of intricately intertwined operations. Direct and frequent contact between different specialties in the matrix can improve communication and flexibility. Another advantage of the matrix — it facilitates the efficient allocation of specialists. By giving the organization the best resources and a practical means of assuring their successful deployment, the matrix helps the organization take advantage of the benefits of economies of scale.
The matrix’s main drawbacks are the confusion it causes, its inclination to encourage power battles, and the stress it puts on a person. When you dispense with the unity-of-command concept, ambiguity is significantly increased, which often leads to conflict.