Just as its name suggests, the matrix model represents a company structure in which employees and managers of different departments belonging to the same business body are brought closer. In this concept, the reporting relationships take the form of a matrix or grids, instead of a hierarchy. In simpler words, there is more than one boss under which people work and so there are multiple reporting lines, which means that they have to report on their progress to all of their bosses.
For many businesses, matrix model can be the best way to go with, but for most of the others, it can ruin their business. It all depends on upon the set of objectives that the business owners have noted down in their minds for their businesses to pursue, the characteristics of the business type and the conditions that the brand is facing currently. Just like any other thing, it also has its own advantages and disadvantages, but which one of these prevails is dependent on the factors mentioned above.
Although the definition of the concept surely clarifies to the business owners, what this model is and how it function, but still there is some need of demystification of having two or more bosses at a time. You can think of it in terms of a trainer and his responsibility to report the rate and level of success of his ongoing duties to both a functional expert as well as a training expert. It’s just like a sales manager, who needs to report the marketing manager and the training director.
Advantages of the Matrix Model
- Highly efficient Information Exchange System
Most of the business owners, who employ matrix model as the main organizational structure, operating within their businesses, actually target information exchange system which is highly efficient. It gives rise to a system through which the information is transferred from one end to other without any major loss. Matrix model allow different departments of the business work closely and try to keep their coordination up and running, by making frequent communications to solve issues immediately. Furthermore, the chances of creativity to get out and flourish increase tremendously. Since, everything gets connected in a closed structure, so all this, in turn, boosts productivity because of the high-speed decision making process.
For example, highly effective advertising strategies can be formulated by taking advantage of the matrix model since it connects the individuals belonging to the department of marketing to those of product departments and finance. So, in this way, the marketing department can contact the product department anytime to gather information about the recent updates made to the product. It can also be the product department, who can reshape its product with the help of the information gathered by the marketing department in terms of market competition. The same goes for the finance department since it can re-plan its investment strategies and much more.
- Increased Employee Satisfaction
Because of the democratic leadership style introduced by the model, the input of team members in the form of the expected success rate and achieved rate is incorporated in the system, even before the managers can make the decision about the matter under focus. It lets one to be able to integrate extremely important information in the system without informing the top level management. That’s how it leads to increased satisfaction of employees towards a particular entity and increased the motivation of workers because they know that they are doing their job for someone or something.
It’s because of its capability of putting forward an immensely interconnected information exchange system that all of the employees are able to bring their expertise in front of their fellow members. Furthermore, it has enabled the managers to take part in the day-to-day operations, which further increases the chances of the success.
Disadvantages of the Matrix Model
According to the model, an employee will have to receive commands from all of his supervisors and that’s where from all the complexity starts. Since every supervisor will observe a situation from his own point of view, so there is a high possibility that each supervisor will command the employee according to his thoughts and perceptions. And most of the times, these commands will counter each other. This leaves the employees in a situation of uncertainty and confusion, in which they can’t understand that whom they should follow and whom they should not. This entire situation ultimately, leads to the group formation among the employees and the supervisors and a war for power starts which affects the productivity of the brand, overall.
This problem of dual authorities and clashing comments over on the same problem feels like a huge mountain, and it become hard to get rid of it. If this situation persists for longer periods of time, then there is a high chance that the business will have to face high employee turnover, which will impact the conditions badly.
- High costs involved
A huge disadvantage of the matrix model is the tremendous expense, which acts as an immense drainage point of the budget of the company. It’s actually the need of the dual management that raises the overhead costs for the business, since the brand has to pay extra salaries to those who are added because of the model, this puts a strain on the resources of the brand.
The expertise that the employees working under the dual management, bring to the table is a valuable asset to the business. But under the conditions of internal conflicts aroused by the sharing of employees between different supervisors, this expertise just tries to find a sheltered place for the employee. Before these, conflicts take the shape of hostility within the workplace and retard the production levels, it is important for the upper management to take proper decisions to avoid the situation.