How to Make the Matrix Work: Answering to Multiple Bosses
Managing a multibusiness enterprise on a global scale brings a level of complexity that is virtually impossible to handle with a simple straight-line, top-down hierarchy. A matrix offers a solution -- yet it is tricky to manage. In a matrix organization, senior managers have overlapping responsibilities, frequently answering to two bosses: one with a remit for a certain region, another for a business group or product family, with solid-line and dotted-line reporting relationships to each. Based on the authors' experiences of matrix organizations, they identify five keys to successful matrix management: a strong and positive corporate culture; the right people in the right places; clear roles and responsibilities in decision processes; shared performance measures and rewards; and extraordinary communications. This article analyzes each of these keys, stressing how all five must work in concert if they are to enable the smooth functioning of a matrix organization. As the globalization of markets continues apace, the need for matrix management will only intensify, demanding that leaders adopt the right mind-set and commit the time and effort required to make the matrix work.