The Functional organization structure
This structure provides the framework for the activities of the organization and must harmonize with its goals and objectives. A functional structure is based on top-down hierarchy levels that include different departments that group individuals by specialization, common knowledge, and skills (indeed, 2021).
Some advantages of functional structures are increased productivity and efficiency because specialist departments work independently of each other with minimal supervision which offers work to be completed faster (indeed, 2021).
Specialist groups having common skills and knowledge creates an environment of clarity that allows the company to tap into high-level information related to a specific topic (MasterClass, 2022).
Disadvantages of Functional Structure
Furthermore, some disadvantages include the potential competition between departments in inter-department collaborations since each department has its own set of specific goals which sometimes results in the distortion of the company’s broader goals and objectives.
It is the manager's responsibility to maintain a harmonious work environment which could be a difficult task as poor communication is present across functional areas (MasterClass, 2022). Decision-making is inefficient as formal approvals from management are required which in time-pressured situations may slow the delivery of a project (indeed, 2021).
Recommended to you:
The Matrix organization structure
The matrix structure allows the integration of various engineering specialist departments to work in a project lead environment through a two-way flow of authority and responsibility of project managers (horizontally) and specialist engineer managers (vertical direct chain of command).
This structure provides a stable base for specialized activities and a permanent location for staff (Mullins, 2016), which allows for efficient use of resources and sharing of skills that reduce overhead costs and project time completion (Asana, 2021).
Advantages of a Matrix Structure
Compared to a hierarchical structure, a matrix has the pros of allowing free flow of information between departments which increases team productivity, offers greater security and project information control and gets the project done more effectively which was one of the issues identified in Arundel’s SWOT analysis (Asana, 2021) (Mullins, 2016).
Disadvantages of a Matrix Structure
Nevertheless, the matrix structure has some disadvantages. The structure can overcomplicate operations and be time-consuming as to who to report to due to the presence of two leaders (Asana, 2021) (Mullins, 2016). Divided loyalties and role conflicts can arise, if staff is brought into this structure at a later stage of their careers, which will potentially require supportive training programs to help staff develop their conflict resolution and teamwork skills (Senior & Swailes, 2016).
It should be stated that developing an effective matrix organization takes time and patience to learn its new roles and behavior which makes it harder for the management to implement it (Kolodny, 1981). Hence, a potential phased transition period of organizational change should be curried out.
Discover: Construction Finance at Coursera
What you will learn:
Construction Project Management introduces you to Project Initiation and Planning.
Industry experts join Columbia University professor, Ibrahim Odeh, to give an overview of the construction industry. Professor Odeh teaches the fundamentals of the Project Development Cycle while guest lecturers discuss the Lean Project Delivery method and Lean Design Behaviors.
Technological advances, such as Building Information Modeling, will be introduced with real-world examples of the uses of BIM during the Lifecycle of the Project. The course concludes with Professor Odeh discussing the importance of project planning and scheduling and an opportunity to develop a Work Breakdown Structure.
Working Groups v Teams
Groups and teams are essential features of any organisation. The understanding of both systems is vital for the success of a business.
A group is a collective of individuals that coordinate their efforts to share information and make decisions independently and have individual accountability towards the collective objective (Asana B, 2021) (Katzenbach & Smith, 1993). Groups are great for efficiency, career growth, specialization, and doing parallel work. However, groups lack team bonding and teamwork, communication efficiency, and lack organizational clarity.
Teams are defined by a shared purpose and responsibility of team members who are both individual and mutually accountable. Sharing of information and collective decision-making increases collective performance and promotes innovation (Katzenbach & Smith, 1993) (Asana B, 2021).
Some of the advantages of teams are, improved productivity, quicker problem solving, and better communication. However, drawbacks are the reduction in efficiency and low individual growth as the collective is more important than the individual. A comparison of both groups and teams is illustrated below.
Asana, 2021. What is a matrix organization and how does it work?. [Online] Available at: https://asana.com/resources/matrix-organization [Accessed 6 March 2022].
indeed.com, 2021. 4 Types of Organizational Structures. [Online] Available at: https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/functional-structure [Accessed 2 March 2022].
Kolodny, H. F., 1981. In: Managing in a Matrix. s.l.:Business horizons, pp. 17-24.
Kreitner, R., Kinicki, A. & Buelens, M., 1999. Organizational Behaviour. In: f. E. edition, ed. s.l.:McGraw-Hill.
masterClass.com, 2022. Functional Structure: 3 Characteristics of Functional Structure. [Online] Available at: https://www.masterclass.com/articles/functional-structure#3-key-characteristics-of-functional-structure [Accessed 6 March 2022].
MindTools, 2022. Herzberg's Motivators and Hygiene Factors Learn How to Motivate Your Team. [Online] Available at: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/herzberg-motivators-hygiene-factors.htm [Accessed 3 March 2022].
Mullins, L. J., 2016. Management and organisational behaviour. 11th ed. London: Pearson .
OpenLearn, 2022. 3.5.2 Handy’s four types of organisational cultures. [Online] Available at: https://www.open.edu/openlearn/money-business/leadership-management/management-perspective-and-practice/content-section-3.5.2 [Accessed 12 March 2022].
Senior, B. & Swailes, S., 2016. Organizational Change. 5th Edition ed. s.l.:Pearson.
Xiaoming, C. & Junchen, H., 2012. A Literature review on organisation culture and corporate performance. International Jourrnal of Business Administration, 3(2), pp. 28-37.