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Matrix Organization. Euro MPM He Wang. Definition and Characteristics . The matrix organization is an attempt to combine the advantages of the pure functional structure and the product organizational structure.

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matrix organization

Matrix Organization

Euro MPM

He Wang

definition and characteristics
Definition and Characteristics

The matrix organization is an attempt to combine the advantages of the pure functional structure and the product organizational structure.

This form is identically suited for companies such as construction, that are “ project-driven”.

In Matrix organization, each project manager reports directly to the vice president and the general manager. The power and authority used by the project manager come directly from the general manager.


Information sharing is in an organization and several people may be required for the same piece of work

The project manager has the total responsibility and accountability for the success of the project.

The functional departments have functional responsibility to maintain technical excellence on the project.

Each functional unit is headed by a department manager whose prime responsibility is to ensure that a unified technical base is maintained and that all available information can be exchanged for each project.


The basis for the matrix organization is an endeavor to create synergism through shared responsibility between project and functional management .Other advantages:because key people can be shared, the project cost is minimized;conflicts are minimal, and those requiring hierarchical referrals are more easily resolved;there is a better balance between time, cost and performance;authority and responsibility are shared;stress is distributed among the team.


The project manager has most power, resources and control over the work.

Project managers in a strong matrix often have a separate reporting line to a project office or project management structure.

horizontal matrix over the strong matrix the balanced matrix
Horizontal matrix over the strong matrix-the balanced matrix

The balanced matrix is where the power is shared more equally between the vertical and horizontal legs of the matrix with

respective responsibilities for people and resources

carefully defined and

reasonably balanced

  • Solid line or dotted line reporting can be used to add further nuance. In general the solid line is the stronger relationship, the dotted line the weaker. Most organizations use 2 solid line reporting relationships to represent a balanced matrix.

Matrix organizations are a blend of functional and projectized characteristics.

Weak matrices main many of the characteristics of a functional organization and the project manager role is more that of a coordinator or expediter than that of a manager.

Strong matrices have many of the characteristics of the projectized organization, and can have full-time project managers with considerable authority and full-time project administrative staff.

The balanced matrix organization recognizes the need for a project manager, it does not provide the project manager with the full authority over the project and project funding.