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Management processes to improve effectiveness in organisations
From a management perspective, many organisations are becoming increasingly matrixed. With this structure in mind, this paper first describes a number of management processes to improve effectiveness in matrixed organisations (what should we do?). It then describes wider principles to which matrixed organisations adhere to ensure that the organisation as a whole aligns itself to the matrix structure (how should we do it?). Naturally, there is significant interplay between the two. Given that the future matrix structure has already been defined, the paper does not suggest alternatives, or focus on structure per se. It draws on both management literature and case studies of other highly matrixed organisations, with a particular focus on supply chains. It is not intended to be a prescriptive document, but rather to foreground processes and principles which may be applicable matrixed organisations, and stimulate thinking among those who know what will ultimately fit the business.
Traditionally, the matrix management literature focuses on the key features of responsibility/decision rights, information flows, and incentives, as well as structure, which is nominally dictated by the first three (Anand and Mendelson, 1997). Management processes themselves receive rather scantier attention, and there is a distinct lack of empirical research in this area (Appelbaum, Nadeau and Cyr, 2009). This is true of both the general and the specifically supply chain literature.
The literature assigns various levels of importance to these key features. However, there is a general consensus that for matrix organisations to be effective, they must do three things well; define the problem, ascertain the possible solutions, and create a solution with collaboration across differentiated functions (Oliva and Wade, 2006). Of these, the solution is clearly the most important element. And an optimal solution is, by...
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