Designing Matrix Organizations that Actually Work: How IBM, Proctor & Gamble and Others Design for Success
Jay R. Galbraith
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Organization structures do not fail, says Jay Galbraith, but management fails at implementing them correctly. This is why, he explains, the idea that the matrix does not work still exists today, even among people who should know better. But the matrix has become a necessary form of organization in today's business environment. Companies now know that if they have multiple product lines, do business in multiple countries, and serve many customer segments through a variety of channels, there is no way they can avoid some kind of a matrix structure and the question most are asking is "How do we learn how to operate the matrix effectively?" In Designing Matrix Organizations That Actually Work, Galbraith answers this and other questions as he shows how to make a matrix work effectively.
directly for the subproject manager and are dedicated to the project, is the ideal. This model is possible where there are a few large projects that last six months or longer, as in the pharmaceutical industry examples. The subproject manager is a strong manager with many dedicated scientists. Other scientists move on and off the project as the subproject managers negotiate with the specialty managers for support. The director of electronics acts as tiebreaker, manages the team, and resolves
at the evolving international structures since the turn of the century. Differentiated Structures Most companies today are moving to differentiated organizational structures. That is, they are organizing differently in different parts of the world and for different businesses. For example, 3M adopted a business-dominant matrix in Europe and the United States and a geography-dominant model in the rest of the world. More companies are adopting similar organization models. These changes,
managers, which leads to inconsistency in the organization. So how do we handle these issues? Resolving strategic conflicts is clearly a leadership responsibility. The conflict in the pharmaceutical company example could be handled simply by having the CEO call the two bosses into the office, shut the door, and say, “We’re not leaving here until the issue is resolved.” Or the leadership could see a bigger issue, which they did in this case. This conflict is between clinical trials and France.
assignment was to lead an in-depth audit of the Credit Suisse First Boston investment bank in the United States. The auditor was then made partner of the audit firm and returned to Zurich. From there he was selected to be the global accounts team leader for Credit Suisse. After several years in the team leader role, the auditor became the global coordinator for the financial services customer segment. The firm assessed the auditor in each assignment for audit performance and knowledge of the
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