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Matrix management structure: scheme, basic principles, efficiency

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Matrix management structure: scheme, basic principles, efficiency
Matrix management structure: scheme, basic principles, efficiency

Organizational structure is a model of relationships between positions and people in a given organization.

Organizational structure is a set of various dependencies (eg functional, hierarchical) between individual elements (such as organizational positions, cells, units) of organizations that allow you to manage it. The essence of the OS is the correct connection of goals and objectives with people and ways to influence them in work processes, that is, the creation of certain parts in the organization, and then their integration to manage them more effectively.

The matrix structure is one of the most sought-after structures for complex organizations that are characterized by a focus on project activities.

The matrix structure is characterized by a departure from the traditional assumption that the formal organizational structure as a whole should be a permanent and unchanging system. In this structure, it was possible to combine the positive features of staff-line structures with the properties of the structure.

HR manager


The matrix form of management organization refers to one of the forms of organizational structures of the enterprise, which are quite widespread in modern conditions. It is based on overlapping two merge criteria. Functional departments form the basis of creating a matrix. After their definition, sets of groups are selected and plotted. Depending on the profile of the enterprise, the main criterion for distinguishing the previously mentioned groups is the production or temporary department dealing with a specific task.

This type of structure is associated with the mathematical concept of a matrix, that is, a rectangular array of real numbers, characterized by a combination of columns and rows.

In a matrix structure, columns are equivalent to constant repeating functions. Each element of the matrix has 2 decision centers - a function manager and a task manager. Its advantages are flexibility and openness to changes in the environment, increased project manager responsibility for the project, improved information flow, and the opportunity for employees to increase their creativity.

This type of organizational structure was introduced in the 1960s in the aerospace industry. NASA has played a leading role in applying this structure. The structure of the array is most often built around the problems or projects in which the organization participates. They are usually recognized in the rows of the matrix. Matrix columns are analogues of constant, repeating functions.


Matrix structureused when it is necessary to perform certain special activities that require the appointment of project teams in the enterprise management system. The members of these groups are employees of the permanent organizational units of the structure.

Assignment of employees can occur in the following cases:

  • complete disconnection from the original cell (department) for the duration of the task (project) of the enterprise and complete subordination to the manager of the assigned project group (we are talking about the so-called project teams);
  • double subordination of employees: both to the head of the division of the main cell and to the head of the team (this solution corresponds to typical matrix structures).

Each employee, who is one of the links in the structure of the array, is a member of the project team, as well as the functional department. The result of this bipartisanship is the fact that there are several leaders. The matrix organizational structure is a fairly complex undertaking. Not every company can effectively implement it. The application of this structure can lead to many things both positive and negative in the organization.

matrix organizational chart


Among the positive characteristics of the use of the matrix structure are:

  • creating conditions for interdisciplinary work;
  • promoting collaboration skills;
  • flexibility;
  • promote high employee identification with goals;
  • create independent management and coordination mechanisms;
  • promoting the emergence of the phenomenon of synergy;
  • liberation of the creative potential of employees;
  • possibility of comprehensive focus on a detailed problem;
  • greater openness and flexibility in adapting to changes in the environment;
  • increasing the responsibility of the manager-coordinator for the enterprise due to the expansion of his competencies for the entire cycle of project implementation;
  • improving the flow of information.


Among the negative characteristics of the application of the matrix structure are:

  • high management cost;
  • possibility of anarchy;
  • increased task completion time;
  • violation of the principle of unity of command and the possibility of competency disputes between function heads and project coordinators;
  • lack of rapport and trust on the part of function and project leaders;
  • makes rather high demands on managers and subordinates, which causes difficulties in filling working groups;
  • uncertainty and threat that accompany the team leader and participants in the project management mechanism;
  • overloading project managers with current coordination issues.
matrix form of management organization

Structure features

The matrix structure is recommended as modern because of the ease with which an organization operating in a matrixsystem capable of responding to changing environmental conditions. This type of structure is built on the principle of two-dimensional grouping: columns are the equivalents of constant repeating functions, and lines represent unusual, periodically changing tasks, products, projects.

If an organization performs several separate tasks (projects) at the same time, the teams that perform them act as if "cross" the traditional "staff-line" structure, creating a matrix of tasks and functions.

Each element of the matrix - a position or an organizational unit - is two decision-making centers: a function manager and a task (project) manager. Both systems intersect as a result of the penetration of the old division into functions with the new division into projects. This leads to the transfer of information and coordination of work in a horizontal arrangement, and offloading usually overloads vertical channels (hierarchical division by function).

In the matrix structure, which uses two overlapping grouping rules, there are such structural features of enterprise management as:

  • high degree of professional type specialization;
  • deep decentralization;
  • small degree of formalization.
enterprise management system

Matrix structure in practice

The world-famous American automobile concern Ford used an array approach to create one of its most popular models, namely the Ford Focus. The group created for this purpose was called the "teamfocuses", including engineers, designers, marketing and production specialists. The organization of the work of the head was carried out by experts from other areas of the company. Thanks to the implementation of this structure and the gathering of specialists, the project to create a new model was successful at least a year earlier, than could have been achieved using the company's previous approach.

The matrix structure is also used by the following companies: Prudential, General Motors, NCR, American Cyanamid, and Manhattan Bank. However, the matrix structure, despite all the efforts involved in implementation and attempted implementation, did not find application in companies such as Philips or Citibank. The above situation assumes that the matrix structure is not a universal structure suitable for implementation in any enterprise.

Example of matrix structure

The figure below shows an example of a matrix control structure and a diagram of the relationships within it.

matrix structure diagram

As can be seen from the figure, the structure contains both the principle of functional and design separation of subordination links.

The head of the company within this structure has several deputies. director for areas: marketing, R&D, production, economics and finance, technical department. This list may vary from company to company. Each of these deputy directors bears their functional duties on the profile.

In the subordination of each of them you can see functionalemployees. If we take the personnel department, then the personnel manager will be subordinate to the deputy for personnel. If we take a marketing assistant, then a marketing specialist will be subordinate, etc.

The HR manager performs his functional duties in the field of personnel work, but at the same time he also has another project manager (not only functional). This employee obeys and fulfills the orders of his project manager to which he was attached. This brings out the essence of the double chain of command.

Similarly, you can take the example of a supply specialist. On the one hand, within the framework of the organizational structure, he reports to his head of the procurement department, on the other hand, participating in the project, he reports to the project manager in performing the supply function.

When should you apply the matrix structure?

The matrix control structure and its application scheme is possible in the following situations:

  • When the external environment of the enterprise puts strong pressure on it, for example, in the case of high competition in the market. Through the adoption of comprehensive measures of all cells of the array structure, you can quickly and effectively attract the attention of consumers.
  • In a situation where an enterprise processes countless amounts of data and information. The use of this structure greatly facilitates the distribution of responsibilities and the coordination of tasks.
  • If the resources in which the organization is located are limited, the matrix structure turns out to be savingdecision. Through the use of limited resources, such as production specialists, not only the department that produces product A can be used, but also the department that produces product B.

Despite the difficulties involved in creating an active array structure, it works in enterprises and often contributes to the success and accelerate the timing of projects.

department head

Basic principles of formation

In the matrix control structure and the scheme of its formation, two separate parts are distinguished: fixed and variable. The fixed part consists of organizational units specific to the personnel structure (general administration), while the variable part consists of groups of employees assigned to a specific obligation (project). After the completion of this project, these teams are separated and can be recreated depending on the needs of the institution.

Thus, the variable part of the structure includes organizational positions or sets of positions created from attached employees, as part of the functions that make up the production process (for example, research and development, planning, purchasing, production, sales), for the implementation individual projects. Depending on the type of enterprise, project managers and other employees of industry divisions are appointed. The fixed part of this structure consists of the typical supporting organizational units (e.g. personnel, finance, accounting, etc.) needed toeffective management of institutions.

The matrix management structure and the scheme of its structure are a matrix in which the columns are a functional hierarchy, and the rows of links are a technical hierarchy. Thus, the executive cells (departments) report to the functional manager in the vertical system, while in the horizontal system they depend on the project coordinators.

The name of the matrix structure is derived from mathematics: in science, the term "matrix" refers to a rectangular array of real numbers that characterizes the feedback of rows and columns. Together, this creates a matrix that defines the relationship between row elements and columns.

In a matrix organizational chart, rows usually represent unusual, recurring subject undertakings, while columns are the equivalent of permanent, repetitive functions performed by groups of personnel. If several or a dozen major projects are being carried out simultaneously, then the teams performing these works act as if “crosswise” of the traditional personnel-line structure, creating a matrix of object-functional tasks. A characteristic feature of the matrix structure is the departure from the principle of sole control.

organization of the manager's work


The matrix structure can be considered as a universal solution, especially in those institutions where complex individual tasks are performed that require coordination and cooperation of specialists from various industries. Therefore, the matrixthe structure is especially useful in scientific and research institutes, design offices, research centers, etc. At present, such a structure is also used in many large institutions (holdings, corporations), as well as in organizational consulting companies and advertising agencies. The structure of the matrix is ​​flexible and allows interaction between people at all levels of management of the organization.

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