Matrix management in the new millennium : the skorpion zinc experience

Fuls, H. F. (2006-12)

Thesis (MBA (Business Management))--University of Stellenbosch, 2006.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Globalisation and increased communication flow in the world has increased competition tremendously over the last decade. For organisations to stay ahead of their competition it became essential to adapt quickly. Flexible low cost organisations will become leaders in the industry. Collaboration and teamwork in organisations, especially across functions, could maximise flexibility and productivity. Matrix structures were introduced in the sixties by multinational companies and by the early Seventies many other companies followed suit with mixed success. Academic interest faded after the mid Eighties. The challenge of continual, fast growing organisations is opening a debate for project management and cross-functional structures as teamwork and effective collaboration between functional departments become key to success. This study will focus on application of matrix management structures in the new millennium and project management principles applied by a literature search. The best practice model is compiled with specific application to Skorpion Zinc. Skorpion Zinc is a newly commissioned zinc mine and refinery, applying new technology to produce Special High Grade zinc. Application of this model is verified by personnel from the organisation by means of a questionnaire. Research indicates that most project orientated organisations prefer and use matrix management structures to manage their business. Successes and challenges related to crossfunctional structures are similar to those experienced in the Eighties. Implementation and management of the structure is the key to success. Selecting the correct type of matrix structure that will best support the business is vital. The study reveals that the Weak Matrix Management structure applied in the Refinery Department will enhance personnel management, project management and enable optimal utilisation of resources. In addition to the implementation of the structure focus is required in improvement of project management principles. Enabling factors to the Weak Matrix Structure that needs to be encouraged is a cooperative culture, teamwork, open and effective communication. Skorpion Zinc can use their strength of trust within departments and expand this to an interdepartmental trust. It is concluded that the study has identified the latest trends and success factors related to matrix management structures. Best practice suitable to Skorpion Zinc has been identified and verified. By applying this knowledge, the organisation can look forward to producing zinc cost effectively with a contented workforce, thus becoming a world leader in its class.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Internasionalisering en toenemende kommunikasie vloei regoor die wereld het kompetisie geweldig laat toeneem oor die laaste dekade. Vir organisasies om kompeterend te bly het dit al belangriker geword om vinnig te kan aanpas by veranderende omstandighede. Aanpasbare, lae koste besighede sal leiers in die industrie word. Spanwerk en samewerking in organisasies, veral tussen funksionele departemente sal lei tot aanpasbaarheid van die maatskappy en produktiwiteit van werknemers. Matriks strukture was in die sestiger jare bekend gestel deur internasionale maatskappye wie se voorbeeld gevolg was deur ander maatskappye in die vroeer sewentiger jare met gemengde sukses. Akademiese belangstelling het gekwyn na die later tagtiger jare. Uitdagings van vinnig groeiende, dinamiese organisasies het opnuut debat rondom projek bestuur en matriks strukture laat opvlam as gevolg van sukses wat bereik word deur samewerking tussen funksionele departemente. Fokus van die literatuur navorsing studie sal val op die jongste toepassing van matriks organisasie strukture en projek bestuur beginsels. 'n Model van beste praktyke van toepassing op Skorpion Zinc is saamgestel. Skorpion Zinc is 'n jong sink myn en raffinadery, onlangs in gebruik gestel, wat nuutste tegnologie aanwend om Spesiale Hoe Graad sink te ontgin en produseer. Werknemers het die toepaslikheid van die model bevestig deur middel van 'n vraelys. Navorsing dui aan dat meeste projek ge-orienteerde organisasies vierkies en wend matriks strukture aan om hul besighede te bestuur. Vandag se suksesse en uitdagings verwant aan matriks strukture is baie eenders as wat ondervind was in die tagtiger jare. Implementering en bestuur van die strukture is die sleutel tot sukses. Die keuse van die matriks struktuur wat die onderneming sal ondersteun is van kardinale belang. Navorsing dui daarop dat die Afgewaterde Matriks struktuur, soos toegepas in die Produksie Afdeling, personeel bestuur, projek bestuur en optimale benutting van menslike hulpbronne sal bevorder. Dit is belangrik dat aandag toegespits word op verbetering van projek bestuur beginsels tesame met implementering van die struktuur. 'n Samewerkende kultuur, spanwerk, effektiewe en op die man af kommunikasie is ondersteunende faktore vir matriks strukture wat bevorder moet word. Die gevolgtrekking kan gemaak word dat die navorsing beste gebruike en sukses faktore van matriks bestuur uitlig. Gebruike van toepassing op Skorpion Zinc is geidentifiseer en bevestig. Deur die kennis toe te pas kan die maatskappy uitsien daarna om 'n wereld leier op sy gebied te word met lae koste sink produksie en 'n bevredigde arbeidsmag.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/4869
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