However, the divisional structure inevitably creates work duplication, which makes it more difficult to realize the economies of scale that result from grouping functions together. 23
Another structure that attempts to address issues that arise with growth, diversification, productivity, and competitiveness, is the matrix. A matrix structure, also called a project management structure, sets up teams from different departments, thereby creating two or more intersecting lines of authority. 24
This figure displays a matrix structure, also called a project management structure. 25
Regardless of how they are organized, most of the essential work of business occurs in individual work groups and teams, so we’ll take a closer look at them now. Although some experts do not make a distinction between groups and teams, in recent years there has been a gradual shift toward an emphasis on teams and managing them to enhance individual and organizational success. Traditionally, a group has been defined as two or more individuals who communicate with one another, share a common identity, and have a common goal. A team is a small group whose members have complementary skills; have a common purpose, goals, and approach; and hold themselves mutually accountable. All teams are groups, but not all groups are teams. The type of groups an organization establishes depends on the tasks it needs to accomplish and the situation it faces. Some specific kinds of groups and teams include committees, task forces, project teams, product-development teams, quality- assurance teams, and self-directed work teams. All of these can be virtual teams — employees in different locations who rely on e-mail, audio conferencing, fax, Internet, videoconferencing, or other technological tools to accomplish their goals. Virtual teams are becoming a part of everyday business, with the number of employees working remotely from their employer increasing more than 80 percent in the last several years. 26
Organizations make use of specialized groups two of which are presented on this slide: committees and the task force. A committee is usually a permanent, formal group that does some specific task. For example, many firms have a compensation or finance committee to examine the effectiveness of these areas of operation as well as the need for possible changes. A task force is a temporary group of employees responsible for bringing about a particular change. They typically come from across all departments and levels of an organization. Task force membership is usually based on expertise rather than organizational position. Occasionally, a task force may be formed from individuals outside a company. 27
In the United States, the use of teams in organizations has become fairly widespread.
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- Spring '14