Brief notes on Functional or staff organisation

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In functional organisation the task of management and direction of subordinates should be divided according to the type of work involved. All activities are divided into functions like production, marketing, finance, personnel etc., and are put under the charge of different persons. The persons in charge of a function is a specialist in it.

Advantages

1. Specialisation : It ensures maximum use of the principles of specialisation at every work point.

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2. Efficiency: Since worker’s have to perform a limited number of functions their efficiency would be high.

3. Co-operation: As there is no scope for one man control in the organisation, there is a possibility of promoting co-operation.

4. Relief to the executives: Since instructions from specialist flow directly to the lower levels, the line executives are free from worries.

5. Flexibility: Any changes in the organisation can be introduced without disturbing the whole organisation.

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Disadvantages

1. Conflicts among foremen: Under this form, foremen of equal ranks are many in number and this may lead to conflicts among them.

2. Discipline: Since workers have to work under different bosses, it is difficult to maintain discipline among them.

3. Lack of co-ordination: There are several functional experts in the organisation and this may create problem of co-ordination.

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4. Speed of action: As control is divided among the various specialists, the speed of action is very much hampered.

5. Lack of fixed responsibility: If there is any unsatisfactory progress, it is difficult for the top executives to fix responsibility.

6. Expensive: As large number of specialists are to be appointed under this system, it is very expensive.

Line and staff organisation

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In line and staff organisation, the work of administration is divided into two broad divisions viz., the staff which is responsible for planning and the line for the actual execution of the work. The staff personnel only give advice to the line officials but do not enforce it. The staff officials prepare plans and recommend to the line officials who implement them with the help of departmental personnel. Advantages

1. Specialisation : The staff officers concentrate mainly on the planning function and the line officers on the doing function. By this method specialisation is attained.

2. Flexibility: Staff can be added to the line and the new activities may be introduced without disturbing the line procedure.

3. Expert advice: The staff officers provide expert advice and guidance to line officers.

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4. Relief to the line executive: The staff officers look after the detailed analysis of each important managerial activity which is a big relief to the line officers.

5. Opportunity for advancement: In this form a greater variety of responsible jobs are available and this provides for more opportunities for the advancement of capable workers.

Disadvantages

1. Confusion: If the pattern of authority and responsibility relationship between line and staff executives is not clearly indicated, there may be considerable confusion throughout the organisation.

2. Advice ignored: As the staff officers lack authority to put their recommendations into practice, their advice may be ignored by the line officers.

3. Expensive: This form requires the appointment of large number of experts involving heavy expenditure.

4. Conflict between line and staff: There is a possibility of conflict between line and staff personnel.

Line managers have the following complaints against staff

1. Staff takes credit if the programme is successful and blames the line if it is not successful.

2. Advice given by the staff is not always sound. Advice is only theoretical and unrealistic.

3. Staff authorities are not acquainted with the practical problems of the enterprise as they are only academicians.

4. Staff authority undermines the line authority and interferes in the work of line managers.

Staff personnels have the following complaints

1. Line officers do not make proper use of advice given by the staff.

2. Line officers reject the advice without giving reasons.

3. Line officers are slow to accept new ideas and they resist change.

4. Staff authorities feel that they do not have authority to get their ideas implemented.

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