Sunday, July 20, 2008

Matrix Management Resources - Searching

If you happen to have some great links or resources, leave them in the comments below. My brother works in a large not for profit, an entity that by nature of it's services uses matrix management structure. They are working to further delineate their resources and roles, so I decide to do a bit of research. Actually if you're lazy like me just twitter me a link @daltonsbriefs

If you read this, and have knowledge in the area, then leave a comment or social network link.

Here's what I found in short research (30 mins) today:

Matrix Management: Not a Structure a Frame of Mind

Life in a Matrix Blog - by Kevan Hall with some articles and links, I believe he wrote a book on the subject as well. Check out the video he references as well. Kevan, if you bump into this article, you appear to be writing the most on the subject niche, would be interested if you've seen the technique work in not for profit sector?

the matrix

A matrix organization is just a structure that reflects the complexity of the modern business environment of multiple (often competing) priorities. In the past organizations often had a functional organization inside a particular geography - so the US Marketing manager for a product - say widgets, worked for the US marketing VP who reported to the US President. (excerpt from Life in a Matrix)

Lost in Matrix Management by Gill Corkindale although that was the annoted link, here's Gill's own page and a couple other articles appear there as well.

Smith and Nephew, review of corporate accounts and matrix management affect on the sales and service efforts.

Matrix Management on call center.

Obviously, the easy one, wikipedia on matrix management: Matrix management is a type of organizational management in which people with similar skills are pooled for work assignments. For example, all engineers may be in one engineering department and report to an engineering manager, but these same engineers may be assigned to different projects and report to a project manager while working on that project. Therefore, each engineer may have to work under several managers to get their job done.

Matrix Management and Structure with some additional links too.

The New Matrix Management article on HR Management with link to Martin Training Associates

Sample matrix organization The basis for the matrix organization is an endeavor to create synergism through shared responsibility between project and functional management. (From Visitask)

Organization theory and research have not empirically addressed the topic of matrix management adequately. While much has been written about matrix management since its implementation in the aerospace industry during the late 1950s and early 1960s, including several books (Galbraith, 1973, 1977; Davis and Lawrence, 1977; Knight, 1977), most of it has been case studies, descriptive articles, and chapters on organization design. Given the case-oriented and normatively based approaches, little effort has been devoted to identifying and measuring the characteristics of matrix structure. The majority of authors (e.g., Galbraith, 1972; Kolodny, 1979) has viewed matrix management as the final step in the utilization of lateral coordinative mechanisms, ranging from liaison roles and task forces to the pure matrix. (From Matrix Management in Hospitals)

So, does matrix management still work? Is it too old school? Can it be applied to not for profit work or does profit and loss provide some imperative accountability?


Kevan said...

Thanks for the mention, glad you enjoyed "Life in a matrix".

My advice to your colleague would be to check out the posts on the "Alignment" category - they will find a coupe of tools and ideas there to help.

Matrix is characterized by unclear roles and it is common to see organizations spending years in a fruitless search for clarity in this area.

If you think about it - if you could align roles and accountabilities perfectly - you would not need a matrix with multiple reporting lines.

I work with a lot of large organizations and the matrix is alive and well(ish) as a way of organizing complex organizations.

Good luck

briefs said...

Kevan, thanks for commenting, linking back and the advice. Heading to "alignment" category on your site.