August 23, 2014
Organizational Structure “Organizational structure refers to how various tasks are divided, resources are deployed, and departments are coordinated in an organization”. The structure of an organization tells the character and values of a company. It describes the way the organization is organized, leadership is chosen, and decisions are made. The organizational structure binds the members of an organization or team together and gives clear guidelines on how to proceed with a task. There are five commonly used types of organizational structures (Vaidyanathan, 2013).
The five most common organizational structures include the functional, department, matrix, flat, and virtual structures. The matrix structure is divided into three subgroups. These are the weak, balanced, and strong matrix structures. Each structure has its own advantages and disadvantages. The Last Mile Healthcare disaster recovery project uses the strong matrix structure. This structure will be highlighted and compared to the other structures in this discussion.
The strong matrix organizational structures reporting relationships are set up as a grid or matrix. This is opposed to the traditional hierarchy structure. The employees or project team members will report to both the project manager and the functional manager. Though this type of structure is becoming the most common of the types and has many advantages, it does have its disadvantages (Vaidyanathan, 2013).
The project manager has formal authority, accountability, and responsibility over the project. The project team reports to the project manager for project goals and direction. The functional managers have some accountability and authority over the project. They work with the project manager in planning, recruiting team members, and coordination of the project. The functional managers direct the project team members on performing individual tasks and themselves have expertise in that task (Vaidyanathan, 2013).
Some of the advantages of the matrix structure include:
Experts are shared across projects making their use more efficient
Projects are formally coordinated across functional departments
Information travels across and up the matrix or organization/project. Departmental
Project team members are in contact with the project manager and the functional manager, helping move the decision making process move faster as also seen in the departmental