Managing in a Matrix Organization

Collaborating With Other Managers

Managing in a Matrix Organization - Collaborating With Other Managers

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You need to tread carefully when managing in a matrix organization.

Roberta is a sales executive in a multinational luxury yacht business. She reports to two managers – Fabio, the Italian country manager, and Sara, the US-based global product manager.

Fabio looks after Italian-language sales and marketing, while Sara teaches her the details of the product range, and co-ordinates product delivery. Fabio also manages her from a local employment perspective, but Fabio and Sara together conduct her performance reviews.

Roberta is working in a "matrix management" organization. Fabio and Sara need to know how to manage her so that she gets the benefit of both of their support, without being driven mad by conflicting priorities.

About Management in Matrix Organizations

Large, complicated organizations use matrix management to organize themselves efficiently. With it, they can co-ordinate business units effectively without a huge management overhead.

Different types of manager – for example, functional managers, and regional managers – share responsibility for leading key individuals, teams, and business units. This means that an individual may have two bosses.

On one hand, this means that people can draw on a richer range of management expertise, and organizations are better coordinated and more competitive. On the other hand, it can be difficult to work for two different people, and this can have a knock-on effect on team members' morale and productivity.

There are many different ways that organizations can set up matrix management structures, however, common forms include product/function matrices, product/region matrices and function/region matrices: ...

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