Continuing with the Matrix Monday series of summaries and reviews of the somewhat limited material available on the matrix, today we summarise Cross-functional structures: a review and integration of matrix organization [sic] and project management by Robert C. Ford, W. Alan Randolph (Journal of Management, June, 1992)
This paper comprises a substantial review of the literature of cross-functional structures and matrix organizations that has been published since 1976 until the early 1990s. It includes definitions of matrix structures according to the published work, as well as the recognised advantages and disadvantages, and the benefits and costs, of organizational management in this form.
The article examines the need for further research on disadvantages and advantages of cross-functional structures, and provides a model for effective implementation of a matrix structure within an organization, looking at which factors should influence structural choice. These described factors include environmental influences, organizational characteristics, project characteristics, project team characteristics, project leader characteristics, and project effectiveness. Each one of this issues is explored in some depth.
Every section offers discussion from the authors around points made and the research still needed to develop further understanding. The paper concludes by suggesting that there is a need overall for theory-building in relation to cross-functional structures.
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