Features of the linear-functional structure of the enterprise

Principles of linear-functional structure


In the structure of the enterprise there is necessarily a general manager, under whose authority the heads of departments work. They affect workers in accordance with their goals. Top management has only a linear impact on employees. Functional chiefs have a technological impact. Any performer may delegate part of his work to a downstream employee. In this way, a “boss – subordinate” relationship is built.

Advantages and disadvantages


The advantages of this enterprise management scheme are many. Firstly, the system allows making managers from specialists competent in their field. Secondly, in the event of a non-standard incident, the decision is made and carried out promptly.Third, functional managers quickly gain experience, and their professionalism increases accordingly. Fourthly, there is no problem of “searching for the extreme”, since every employee bears personal responsibility for the results of his activity.
The disadvantages of the linear-functional structure of the enterprise are not so much, but they are very significant. The well-known problem is that the manager and his immediate assistants are overloaded with work, and it is also quite difficult to coordinate the actions of all departments. Linear-functional management structure works effectively in large industrial enterprises, where many homogeneous products are constantly produced. In this case, there is a significant savings in the scale of production.
However, there are situations for which such a system can almost destroy a company. If there is fierce competition in the market, the size of the enterprise grows, some technical innovations are introduced, the range of products expands, external and internal connections become more complex - the linear-functional structure will work as a brake.Due to the large divisions of units, the difficulty in coordinating their functions and responsibilities, such a management scheme becomes inert and loses the ability to adapt to new conditions. The speed of managerial decision-making can come to naught due to disputes over priorities. As a result, the interaction between departments of the enterprise is deteriorating, and communications are extended.


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