A study of the project responsibility - authority gap in the matrix organization structure

Barnard, J. N.(Jakobus Nicolaas) (2002-03)

Theses (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2002.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Dual lines of responsibility and authority that exist in the matrix structure's approach to project management lead to conflict and power struggles between project managers and functional managers with regards to personnel and resources. Most problems associated with the matrix structure have to do with the inability of the upper managers to work out the required power sharing in the organization. Responsibility can be defined as feeling obligated to perform assigned work, while authority is the power to apply resources to carry out the work. A common problem that arises as a result of the need to share power in the matrix organization is the responsibility - authority gap that project managers face, i.e. project managers charged with the responsibility of attaining ambitious goals often lack sufficient formal authority to meet them. It is accepted that authority should be commensurate with responsibility, but feedback suggests that general managers are often reluctant to assign sufficient formal power to project managers. The objectives of this research study are to, through study of literature, investigate the characteristics of matrix organizations that create the responsibility - authority gap and its implications on the organization in order to identify certain recommendations and tools that will assist management to address responsibility and authority issue.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die matriks organisasie stuktuur het dubbele lyne van verantwoordelikheid en autoriteit wat dikwels lei tot konflik en mags konflik tussen die projek en funksionele betuurders met betrekking tot personeel en hulpbronne. Meeste van die probleme wat gepaardgaan met die matriks struktuur spruit voort uit die onvermoee van top bestuur om die gewenste balans van magsdeling in die organisasie te bewerkstellig. Verantwoordelikheid kan gedefinieer word as die neiging om verplig te voel om toegedeelde werk te vervul, terwyl autoriteit die mag is om die werk te kan doen. 'n Algemene probleem wat voorkom as 'n gevolg van die nood om mag te deel in die matriks organisasie, is die verantwoordelikheids - autoriteits gaping. Projekbestuurders is dikwels toegedeel met die verantwoordelikheid om ambisiuese doelwitte van projekte te bereik terwyl hulle nie die nodige autoriteit toegedeel word om die doelwitte te bereik nie. Daar word dikwels gesê dat autoriteit verantwoordelikhied moet aanvul, maar terugvoering is dat algemene bestuurders dikwels nie genee is om genoegsame formele autoritiet aan projekbestuurders toe te staan nie. Die studie se doel is om, deur literatuur studie, die elemente van die matriks organisasie wat tot die verantwoordelikheid - autoriteits gaping lei, en die impak daarvan op die organisasie te ondersoek ten einde voorstelle en aanbevelings aan projek bestuurders en algemene bestuurders voor te lê wat hulle in staat sal stel om effektiewelik die probleem te kan bestuur

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/49718
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