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Matrix bosses and two-boss employees have difficulty with the dual reporting relationships. The matrix structure also can generate high conflict because it pits divisional against functional goals in a domestic structure, or product line versus country goals in a global structure. Rivalry between the two sides of the matrix can be exceedingly difficult for two-boss employees to manage. This problem leads tothe third disadvantage: time lost to meetings and discussions devoted to resolving this conflict. Often the matrix structure leads to more discussion than action because different goals and points of view are being addressed. Managers may spend a great deal of time coordinating meetings and assignments, which takes time away from core work activities.Remember ThisDepartmentalizationis the basis for grouping individual positions into departments and departments into the total organization.Three traditional approaches to departmentalization are functional, divisional, and matrix.A functional structuregroups employees into departments based on similar skills, tasks, and use of resources.The divisional structuregroups employees and departments based on similar organizational outputs (products or services), such that each division has a mix of functional skills and tasks.
An alternative approach to divisional structure is to group employees and departments based on geographic region or customer group.The Disney Channel is structured into geographic divisions to better address the interests of children and teens in different parts of the world.The matrix approachuses both functional and divisional chains of command simultaneously, in the same part of the organization.In a matrix structure, some employees, called two-boss employees, report to two supervisors simultaneously.A matrix bossis a functional or product supervisor responsible for one side of the matrix.In a matrix structure, the top leaderoversees both the product and the functional chains of command and is responsible for the entire matrix.Each approach to departmentalization has distinct advantages and disadvantages.Team ApproachWhat It IsProbably the most widespread trend in departmentalization in recent years has been the implementation of team concepts. The vertical chain of command is a powerful means of control, but passing all decisions up the hierarchy takes too long and keeps responsibility at the top. The team approach gives managers a way to delegate authority, push responsibility to lower levels, and be more flexible and responsive in a complex and competitive global environment. Chapter 18will discuss teams in detail.How It WorksOne approach to using teams in organizations is through cross-functional teams, which consist of employees from various functional departments who are responsible to meet as a team and resolve mutual problems. For example, at Total Attorneys, a Chicago-based