What is an organization for the delivery of health services

Matrix organization

As one of the basic forms of the multi-dimensional organizational structure, the matrix organization is characterized by the fact that the decision-making powers are determined in the course of the formation of organizational areas and transferred to the corresponding decision-making units. These may only pass resolutions jointly.

This chapter shows you when the matrix organization plays a role and what advantages and disadvantages it offers. You then have the opportunity to test your knowledge of matrix organization with our exercises.

Why is the matrix organization important?

Often the matrix organization from large and internationally operating companies used to go through Specialization in several areas stay competitive. The matrix organization is particularly popular in very project-heavy industries, for example the construction industry or the development of vehicles.

In this way, the organizational model of the matrix organization can be used in particular on the second or below hierarchical level. In most cases it is connected to other organizational units within a multiline system.

What is the matrix organization?

The matrix organization is a multi-dimensional organizational structurewhich can be used within a company or organization. Here, the complexes of the tasks in the company are broken down according to various criteria and assigned to the respective areas.

There are always two decision-making units responsible for a partial action, which jointly take decisions to be taken. In this way, several aspects of an action are taken into account at the same time, since the individual aspects of action are anchored in two decision-making systems.

Structure of the matrix organization

  • In the horizontal plane the product, region or project-related areas are shown.
  • In vertical plane on the other hand, the functional work areas of the company.

The respective interfaces are formed by specialized departments or corresponding project teams, each with two instances that are authorized to issue instructions and make decisions.

By linking the two levels, the advantages of the divisional organization and the functional organizational structure are to be combined.

In order to successfully implement a matrix organization in a company, well-developed organization and communication are required. In addition the responsibility of the respective employees increases and department heads, as they now have to report in two places. The higher-level managers are also responsible for several lines at the same time.

Example: matrix organization
"Example AG" is active in the field of bicycle production. In addition to conventional city bikes, "Example AG" also manufactures mountain bikes and racing bikes. The business areas were structured accordingly according to the products. So they represent the horizontal level of the matrix organization.

The vertical plane form the individual functional areas. In addition to sales, these are production, controlling and the human resources department.

The organization chart of the "Example AG" looks like this according to the matrix organization:

There is a manager for each area, one for city bikes, racing bikes and mountain bikes as well as one for production, controlling and human resources. The employees working at the respective interfaces are therefore each subordinate to two managers.

Advantages and disadvantages of the matrix organization

  • Elimination of hierarchies between the individual areas.
  • Avoidance of one-sidedness and promotion of interdisciplinary action.
  • Several contact persons for one area of ​​activity.
  • Short communication channels.
  • Teamwork is encouraged.
  • Interaction between the individual departments and thus mutual understanding is encouraged.
  • Lengthy decision-making processes due to increased coordination effort.
  • Internal conflicts can arise in particular in the event of differences of opinion between the two bodies authorized to issue instructions.
  • Overlapping competencies
  • Success and failure are difficult to assign to a department.
  • The organization can seem confusing, especially for external or new employees.

Practice exercises