Matrix management was in vogue in the 1970s, but it became a pariah among organizational structures through the mid-1980s. People that were embedded in a functional niche for their whole career not good on the ambiguity of reporting to two bosses. In many cases, the simple matrix form is inserted over the rigid hierarchy and only suffer transplant rejection. More typically, came the failure of the matrix structure of the concept of a “pure” or “balanced” matrix wh … Read more »

Matrix management was in vogue in the 1970s, but it became a pariah among organizational structures through the mid-1980s. People that were embedded in a functional niche for their whole career not good on the ambiguity of reporting to two bosses. In many cases, the simple matrix form is inserted over the rigid hierarchy and only suffer transplant rejection. More typically, came the failure of the matrix structure of the concept of a “pure” or “balanced” matrix in the two bosses were “equal” or collectively called “influence power”, which means that real power was to gain between the functional Chief and the Product Line Manager. This led to conflicts, delay and endless meetings that accomplished little, despite OD consultant pleads for trust and openness. Today, matrix structures are under the guise of “empowered teams” or thriving “business teams.” Today’s economic environment and corporate cultural fit better with transitions matrix requirements, with an accent on flat, lean team organizations around business processes horizontally across functions, from product development and customer satisfaction driven cut concentrated. The PowerEdge belongs to the product line leader, and functions are used in the product line, maintain the specialists, and before the state of the art.
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Richard E. Anderson
Source: Business Horizons
5 pages.
Publication Date: Nov 15, 1994. Prod #: BH018-PDF-ENG
Matrix Redux HBR case solution

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