Functional structure in his classic approach was proposed by F.W. Taylor as a way to solve the problems of linear structure. Another way was the linear-staff structure. Classic and contemporary functional structures should be clearly separated. Today this name is mostly used for the departmental structure.
In a classic approach it was proposed that the excess tasks of linear managers could be solved by the establishment of a number of officers with different specializations. In this way, each manager could specialize in the selected area, and at the same time, all the issues connected with the organization of workers would be promptly solved.
This solution has its drawbacks. Every employee has more than one superior. For the principle of unity on management has been assigned a new meaning: each employee receive command from only one superior, in his particular area of decision making. E.g. in issues of working time decisions can only be made by one superior. In practice, however, the use of such a solution has proved to be extremely difficult, because the distribution of decision-making powers was not fully achieved. It was therefore possible to receive conflicting instructions from different superiors.
Role of managers in functional organizational structure
In this structure experts rule, rather than the managers with broad responsibilities. The division of tasks between them is being carried out in a thoughtful and objective way. Thanks to this organization can more easily adapt to changes in the environment.
In addition to the previously mentioned disadvantages associated with the lack of unity of the management, it should be pointed out the lack of the person responsible for the overall functioning of the individual areas of organization. In practice, functional structure adopted different shapes, it was seldom used in pure form.
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