Matrix structure

From CEOpedia | Management online

Matrix structure was introduced in the 1960s in aerospace industry. NASA has a pioneering role in the use of this structure. The matrix structure is mostly built up around problems or projects in which the organization is involved. They are generally presented as the rows of the matrix. The columns of the matrix are the equivalent of regular, repetitive functions similar to functions in functional structure.

In matrix structure grouping is based on object and functional criteria, there is a double subordination of employees, possible conflicts of competence are addressed through detailed demarcation of responsibility, high flexibility and ease of adaptation to new goals, improved communication.


Matrix structure in the need for the implementation of certain special projects, which require the establishment of many project teams. Members of those teams are usually permanent employees of other units within the organization.

Delegating of workers may be carried out on the basis of:

  • full exemption from the parent cells at the time of the execution of the project and the total subordination to appointed project team manager.
  • double subordination of workers: to both the head of the parent cell, and the project team manager (this corresponds to a typical matrix structures).

Matrix organizational structure is quite complicated. Not every company can successfully implement it. Use of this structure can lead to many positive and negative phenomena in organization.

Advantages and disadvantages


  • creates conditions for interdisciplinary work
  • promotes the development of cooperation skills
  • is flexible
  • promotes a high identification with the objectives
  • create automatic mechanisms for coordination
  • promotes the emergence of synergies


  • high management costs
  • the possibility of anarchy
  • longer time to perform tasks (foster discussions rather than action)

See also:

Examples of Matrix structure

  • Aerospace Industry: The aerospace industry is one of the earliest adopters of the matrix structure. This structure is used extensively in the industry to manage complex projects with multiple stakeholders. The matrix structure allows for the integration of different departments, such as engineering, manufacturing, and marketing, into a single project team. This enables efficient communication and coordination between the different departments in order to complete the project.
  • Finance Industry: The matrix structure is also used extensively in the finance industry. It is used to manage large and complex financial projects, such as mergers and acquisitions. In this case, the rows represent the different departments involved in the project, such as legal, accounting, and banking. The columns represent the different tasks that need to be completed for the project, such as due diligence and financial analysis.
  • IT Industry: The matrix structure is also used in the IT industry. This structure is used to manage complex projects with multiple stakeholders, such as software development projects. The rows in the matrix structure represent the different departments involved in the project, such as design, development, and testing. The columns represent the different tasks that need to be completed for the project, such as coding, debugging, and documentation.

Other approaches related to Matrix structure

Other approaches related to Matrix structure are:

  • The Team Structure - this approach is an extension of the traditional matrix structure, where teams are formed around projects and issues and each team is responsible for its own outcome.
  • The Projectized Structure - this approach focuses on projects and decentralizes decision-making authority to the project teams.
  • The Balanced Matrix Structure - this approach combines the strengths of both functional and matrix structures, with a focus on both project and functional teams.
  • The Virtual Organization Structure - this approach is similar to the matrix structure, but it is more flexible as it allows for remote working and a more distributed working environment.

In summary, other approaches related to Matrix structure include The Team Structure, The Projectized Structure, The Balanced Matrix Structure, and The Virtual Organization Structure. These approaches vary in their focus on projects and functional teams, as well as their flexibility to remote working.

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