Matrix organizational structure advantages and disadvantages
Matrix organizational structure advantages and disadvantages

Matrix organizational structure advantages and disadvantages: What is called matrix organization? The matrix organizational structure is a concept that emerged in the 1960s. This organizational structure arose from the aerospace industry. This was when firms who wanted to contract with the U.S.

government employees had outlined in specific charts the structure of the project management team. Since then the matrix structure has over the years continued to be adopted by organizations that need to take on large-scale and complex projects that may not be efficiently completed within a single department in the organization.

This article wishes to discuss the parameters of a Matrix organizational structure. And it is imperative to first understand what is meant by the term matrix organizational structure. A matrix organizational structure is a workplace format in which employees report to two or more managers rather than one manager overseeing every aspect of a project.

Read: Advantages and disadvantages of Lewin’s change model

This can be understood by the example that, an employee may have a primary manager they report to as well as one or more project managers they work under. This type of structure creates an environment where skills needed can be shared with other departments in order to achieve or complete a task.

Types of matrix organizational structure

What are the three types of matrix organizations?

The main types of matrix organization structure include a weak matrix, balanced matrix, and strong matrix. The Matrix organizational structure allows the organization to utilize a wide range of talents and strengths thereby increasing the possibility of success. There are basically three types of Matrix organizational structure. These are weak organizational structure, balanced matrix organizational structure, and strong matrix organizational structure.

Weak matrix organization

A weak matrix organization operates on or is a type matrix organizational structure that is most similar to a traditional workplace hierarchy. This operates with a functional manager who oversees all aspects of a project and acts as the primary source of decision making. While there is a project manager who also acts as a point of authority, they ultimately answer to the functional manager.

Balanced matrix organization

this type of matrix organizational structure gives more authority to the project manager. While the functional manager is available and is the primary authority, employees also report to the project manager.

Strong matrix organization

This type of matrix organization provides the project manager with equal or more power than the functional manager. This is because the project manager has overall control over the distribution of resources and tasks. Below explained are Matrix organizational structure advantages and disadvantages.


As part of a functional organizational structure, a matrix organizational structure is often used by organizations to distribute resources and workers across multiple operations. The matrix organizational structure has both advantages and disadvantages within the workplace and Understanding this is very imperative.

Read: Kurt Lewin Model For Change

The benefits and downsides of a matrix organizational structure can help an individual or an organization operate best for their benefit. This article aims at discussing what a matrix organizational structure is. And to outline the advantages and disadvantages of this workplace approach.


The following are some of the advantages of the matrix organizational structure. These benefits will
Increases communication efficiency

What are the advantages of matrix structure?
A matrix organizational structure encourages inter departments communication and collaboration on a project. It increases the efficiency of conflict resolution in an organization.

This is because employees answer to multiple managers as opposed to just the functional manager, issues are resolved more quickly, and company-wide interaction is increased. Employee motivation and teamwork a matrix organizational structure can promote motivation among employees. It gives employees more autonomy and input in projects.

This type of structure encourages employee contribution and places a higher value on work. In a matrix organization, employees work on projects and with various departments for functional organizational structures within the company hence promoting teamwork across the board. Further, This enhances employee interaction and promotes a better sense of teamwork.

Maximizes resource usage

The matrix organization increases the effective use of resources. This organization structure allows resources to be maximized because of how equipment and employees are shared across projects. A matrix structure also allows project managers to work in the areas of their expertise rather than being pulled across multiple projects. This boosts the overall contribution of their skills.

Professional development

A matrix structure allows employees to learn different skills. This is achieved because it promotes a wide coverage of working on different projects. Exposure to various job duties and responsibilities can increase employee development and enhance their professional skills.


Conversely, the matrix structure may sometimes be difficult in achieving total structure in an environment where managers hold equal superiority over their shared team members. While there are many benefits to this type of organizational structure, there are also a few disadvantages to consider. These include:

Increases the rate of conflict upraise managers and projects

Due to the fact that the matrix organizational structure promotes employees to answer to two or more managers and work on multiple projects, it might cause workers to become conflicted between managers and projects. Also, because there are multiple managers in charge, there is the potential for inconsistent managing directives among teams.

Authority confusion

Matrix organizational structures employ two or more managers whom employees answer to. This can cause several potential challenges. These include confusion as to who the supervisor is, undefined responsibilities among managers, and the possibility of managers opposing each other’s decisions.

Reduced employee effectiveness

Oftentimes in a matrix organizational structure, employees are assigned to multiple tasks across a number of projects. This can result in reduced employee effectiveness and increased ambiguity as employees try to decide which tasks are most important.

Increased management overhead costs

This type of organizational structure can be costly in terms of management since multiple managers are put in place for a project. As a result, management overhead costs can increase, and the overall company budget can be impacted.
Finally, The matrix organizational structure is a combination of two or more different kinds of organizational structures, such as project management or functional management.

Read: Functional organizational structure

Additionally, the matrix structure is composed of both a traditional hierarchy of management, where employees are managed by a functional manager, as well as additional project managers who can manage employees across different departments. These two or more managerial systems intersect on a grid or matrix.

Why do matrix organizations fail?

Matrix organizations fail today due to several key disadvantages which really affect organizations using a matrix structure: The biggest problem with Matrix is that Managerial roles are not sometimes clearly defined. People working in the organization under Matrix organizational structure, have Team roles not well defined. The decision-making process under Matrix organizational structure can be very slow and affects the process, especially under bureaucratic organizations or management.

Matrix organizational structure example

In the USA Matrix organizational structure example is that of Google which has a matrix structure, that helps set the workplace format in which employees report to two or more managers rather than one manager overseeing every aspect of a project. Primary characteristics of Google’s Matrix organizational structure include function-based definition, marketing, product or project-based definition, and flatness.

Similar Content: