Matrix Monday: Designing Matrix Organizations that Actually Work
As part of our ‘Matrix Monday’ series, where we report back on some of the limited literature available on matrix management, John Bland, a senior Global Integration consultant, reviews Designing Matrix Organizations that Actually Work by Jay Galbraith.
This book aims to show you how to create a matrix structure and how to make that structure work.
It is worth reading for anyone with an interest in matrix structures, particularly from the point of designing them. I’d recommend it for anyone in Organizational Development (OD) plus anyone else who has the task of designing a structure for their organization and would like to know what a matrix is, and why do it.
The book is basically in three parts. Following a brief introduction, which covers where the matrix came from, section one covers simple matrix structures, and section two covers more complex matrices. Then, in section three, Galbraith deals with some tips and ideas on how to make these structures work.
The best parts of this book are the first two sections where Galbraith shares his evident wide-ranging experience of various companies (many of whom are Globally renowned multinationals), which have matrix structures. He goes through each situation, case by case, covering in some detail exactly what structure a particular company chose and why they chose that structure. In process of doing this, he also covers some aspects of how each structure worked.
He defines various sorts of matrices, such as the Two Hat Matrix Model, or the Baton Pass Matrix Model, which is interesting and enlightening, although some of the models are not sufficiently distinct for my taste and these two sections are also a bit long.
I thought section three rather weak – it looks like Galbraith has not had so much experience of making matrices work, but has been much more involved consulting with the impressive list of companies creating them. The tips are useful, but rather generic (always difficult to be specific of course), but also somewhat lacking in a coherent structure.
The book runs to just over 250 pages.
The Matrix Monday series of blogs aims to review some of the limited literature available, and we welcome appropriate submissions for consideration. If you would like to know more, you may also find our Linked in Matrix Management Group a useful resource, or do feel free to contact us (Global Integration) to speak with John or another of our expert team.
Educate yourself further with a few more or our online insights:
25 years of experience learning with a range of world class clients
We work with a wide range of clients from global multinationals to recent start-ups. Our audiences span all levels, from CEOs to operational teams around the world. Our tools and programs have been developed for diverse and demanding audiences.
Tailored training or off the shelf modules for your people development needs
We are deep content experts in remote, virtual and hybrid working, matrix management and agile & digital leadership. We are highly flexible in how we deliver our content and ideas. We can tailor content closely to your specific needs or deliver off the shelf bite sized modules based on our existing IP and 25 years of training experience.
For more about how we deliver our keynotes, workshops, live web seminars and online learning.