Most companies use a mixture of structures to accomplish their goals.
Line & Staff
People involved in marketing or making a product are called line employees. Those that support the line are called staff employees. Line and staff employees can be organised as follows:
The functional structure divides work by task, these departments report to senior executives. The burden of responsibility rests with the executive who has a wider span of control and a wider variety of tasks for which to take responsibility. It does however concentrate the responsibility and reduce potential conflict at the point of decision making.
This structure groups all functions around a specific product. Product Managers manage individual products as smaller businesses
Some businesses find it advantageous to organise their departments by the customers that they serve. Its personnel can then become proficient in meeting the needs of these different customers. In the same way, an organization that provides services such as accounting or consulting may group its personnel according to these types of customers.
In this arrangement work is divided by location. Geographical structures cut across customers and products. Regional offices are established to manage the business. In a large organization, simple physical separation makes centralized coordination more difficult. Also, important characteristics of a region may make it advantageous to promote a local focus. For example, marketing a product in Western Europe may have different requirements than marketing the same product in Southeast Asia.
Divisions are independent businesses operating under the umbrella of a parent corporation. Unlike the previous four structures, divisions run somewhat autonomously. They do it all themselves, from marketing to buying raw materials.
The matrix structure departs form the principle of unity of command.: only one boss for each employee. Here there are two or more lines of authority. The matrix is common in businesses involved in complex projects. Employees report to to both a project manager in charge of their assigned product and a functional manager who controls specific activities such as manufacturing, finance, and marketing.