Why do organizations adopt matrix structures? What conditions usually have to be present before an organization should adopt a matrix structure? What are the advantages? What are the disadvantages?
Matrix structure helps an organizations structure emphasize both product and function or product and geography at the same time (Daft 2013). The matrix structure is typically what an organization will utilize when organizations find that functional, divisional, and geographic structures combined with horizontal linkage mechanisms will not work (Daft 2013). According to Rose Johnson, The matrix organizational structure is atypical because it brings together employees and managers from different departments to work toward accomplishing a goal (Johnson).
There are three conditions required in order for an organization to adopt a matrix structure. There must be pressure to share sparse resources. There must be environmental pressures on the organization for frequent new products. There must be an uncertain environment. The lines of authority have to be given equal recognition under these conditions.
An advantage of the matrix structure is that it can lead to an efficient exchange of information (Johnson). It is likely that efficient lines of communication enhances productivity. Matrix structures can also lead to increased motivation. Ina matrix structure, each employee is bringing their expertise to the table, which results in coordination that can meet the needs and demands of customers.
There seems to be just as many disadvantages as advantages of the matrix structure. A major disadvantage is the matrix structure may result in internal complexity. It is possible that an employee receives several different directions about the same thing from managers in different departments.