Matrix Departmentalization | How Does It Work? – Pros & Cons

Are there any big, complicated projects pending in your large company, and you are unable to get them complete because your existing processes are falling short? Do you dream of your company’s rapid growth in the future?

Then, follow the method of matrix departmentalization in your organization. Matrix organizational structures are specifically designed for companies. But, what is this Matrix Departmentalization? And, how does it help various companies?

What Is Matrix Departmentalization?

It combines both functional & project departmentalization, which is designed to synchronize single activity and multiple components. It also assists in providing a better service to both the customer & the company.

It was introduced in 1960 in reaction to the technically oriented enterprises’ growing complexness & size that needed more flexibility. The matrix departmentalization requires substantial communication for meeting internal company needs. It should not be merely grafted onto the prevailing organization, hoping to demonstrate the progressive management reflection.

Initially, the aerospace enterprise & afterward, some other industry giants like Dow Coming, Shell Oil, etc., approved this project management structural concept superimposed on a conventional functional organization. It encompasses dual supervision (of technical & executive managers) under which several reporting systems are present & several decision transmitting communication lines gets interwoven.

Managers must comprehend proper rules of game to apply the matrix departmentalization method in a company. An educational effort is needed here; otherwise, some people may feel that their power of making decisions is threatened & the non-management members couldn’t learn to work with two managers simultaneously.

How Does Matrix Departmentalization Work?

In matrix departmentalization, the company’s employees are typically divided & distributed into varied departments. However, they are permitted to work with employees of other teams or departments, if needed, to complete any specific projects. This means that a team member or member of a department may have two or more bosses & the project manager remains in charge of overseeing a particular initiative.

Matrix Departmentalization – Pros

Better Communication:

Matrix departmentalization allows for ease of communication between various departments of an organization. And, since communication between multiple departments is a breeze, employees move freely from one unit to the other, thereby sharing valuable knowledge or information along the way. The relaxation in communication will result in more collaboration & the emergence of better & stronger organizations.

Sharing Of Resources:

Each department of a company possesses one or more exceptionally talented people & remaining silent within one’s department without discussing any project with other departments’ people is a waste of those talents. Matrix departmentalization ensures that the skill of such people doesn’t get wasted & their resources can be used for the benefit of the company. For making it possible, it permits a team’s employees to work with the members of other groups or departments for finishing any complex projects or exchanging their resources while doing it.

Facilitates For Employee Development:

With the method of matrix departmentalization in a company, the company’s employees get exposed to numerous kinds of projects or ways of thinking. Also, the company employees work outside their established limitations & thus, grow their professional sets of abilities. Again, while working in the company, they gain different precious knowledge. So, no doubt, this kind of departmentalization makes its employees valuable for the organization and enhances their job contentment.

Matrix Departmentalization – Cons

It makes the reporting to bosses confusing:

With matrix departmentalization, one may have two or more bosses. And, reporting details about any project in front of two or more bosses is a little confusing. While reporting any project to multiple bosses, the project details & descriptions may get easily jumbled. Also, there may be fighting of ego between various managers or bosses of the company.

Heavy Workloads:

The employees of the company adopting the matrix departmentalization technique may have to encounter extra workload in the organization. This, in turn, results in low job satisfaction, employee churns, & burnout.

Extra Expenditures:

A company accepting matrix departmentalization technique has to pay an extra amount for retaining more managers & company payroll balloons & thus, keeping the talents within the organization.

Wrapping Up:

Matrix departmentalization is an excellent system that works perfectly for large companies working on vast projects. However, using this method in small companies will not work out much. So, we advise you to go for this kind of departmentalization in your organization but only with proper caution.

Recommended Articles –

Process Departmentalization

Functional Departmentalization

Customer Departmentalization

Product Departmentalization

Geographic Departmentalization

Leave a Comment