Continuing our Matrix Monday series, where we take a look at some of the better papers and literature on the matrix organization (leadership, management and working practise), today’s summary is on Matrix structures and the training implications by W. David Rees and Christine Porter (Industrial and Commercial Training Volume 36, Number 5, 2004)
This short paper stresses the importance of appropriate multi-disciplinary training for team leaders in matrix structures, in order for the new organizational arrangement to be effective. It looks at this training need within the context of reasons for implementation of matrix structures, and addresses some of the obstacles to effective operation of matrix structures around leadership. These may involve leadership motivation issues, lack of formal authority for leaders, the existence of weak management structures, and the reintegration of project leaders back into the wider organization after project completion.
The article suggests several strategies to increase the chance of success within the matrix structure . These include ensuring support from senior management, ensuring the soundness of the general management structure into which the matrix will be introduced, ensuring that reward arrangements are appropriate, providing adequate administrative support to the team, and keeping the effectiveness of the matrix structure under review.
The authors finally note that the introduction of matrix structures may reveal management selection and training needs on the part of the senior managers responsible for the implementation and monitoring of it.