Thursday, 2 July 2009

The Projectized Against The Matrix Organisational Structure

By:Ali Al-Dimshawy

It is clear that we are in front of two serious problems here:

1- Poorly motivated staff.

2- Early leave of staff seeking more permanent positions.

Let us see what these two problems do with our two organizational structures

1- While work is organized along “project” lines:

- It is will known that this kind of structures ‘Leads to poor coordination’ . . .[and] ‘Eliminates in-depth competence and technical specialization’ (Duncan, 1979:431)

- This structure in its nature does not allow coordination or a bond between project team and the organization, this does not only give the resources the feeling of solitude and being ignorable by the organization, but also it does not help solving work problems as they appear. After while and as a result of lack of necessary coordination the project team will face a considerable number of pending problems this is a tough obstacle in the way of team motivation.

- This structure does not encourage the loyalty of the employees as they know that they are going to leave the company once the project is over, and who doesn’t seek a stable safe job?

- And another point is that most of professional resources look at this kind of jobs -from a hit and run point of view- as a platform for gaining experiences for their hopefully coming permanent position; those positions are not always within their current organizations.

The moral here is such a structure impact badly both loyalty and motivation of project team members.

2- The matrix structure and how it deals with these two problems:

- No doubt when an employee reports to his organization he knows that he is visible thus he tries his best for improving and proofing his performance as he knows this is the one and the only indicator of the period he can stay safe with his current position or further chasing his career in a stable environment.

- Duncan (1979:429) early argued the one of the matrix strengths is the Flexible sharing of human resources across products. This flexible sharing fastens recovery of problems either they are related to work or to resources motivation.

- Team motivation is still a case sensitive which needs special care by the management especially in matrix structure as the reorganizing it self can be a motivator by giving the team larger responsibilities and authorities.

It is important here to say that it is still better to keep using the same resources as possible while superimposing the structure but ‘significant learning must occur before an organization embarks on the transformation . . .’ (Tinnirello, 2001:194)

From all of the above I answer the question ‘Is this problem likely to be resolved by simply re-organizing the structure?’ saying yes re-organizing the structure may solve the problem when considering the other effecting factors. Organizations shall be carefully optimistic when applying a matrix structure, ‘It is only when all four-decision rights, information, motivation and structure – are integrated and aligned that an organization effectively executes’ (Galioto, 2006:15) reorganizing is not magic.

References and Bibliography:

· Duncan, Robert. (1979) What Is the Right Organization Structure? Decision Tree Analysis Provides the Answer. USA: Organizational Dynamics.

· Galioto, Frank. (2006).The Matrix Reloaded. The Multi-Axis Organization as Key to Competitive Advantage. USA: Booz Allen Hamilton Inc.

· Tinnirello, Paul C. (Editor) (2004) New Directions in Project Management. USA: Auerbach Publications

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