Matrix Management: Contradictions and Insights


Does matrix management stifle or foster the development of new products? The arguments for and against matrices consist primarily of anecdotal success or failure stories. The issue is further obscured by the failure to recognize that there are different types of matrices. Data on the usage and effectiveness of three matrix structures (functional, balanced, and project matrices) were collected from 500 managers experienced in product development. The results indicate that matrices still are the dominant approach for completing development projects. However, while all three types of matrices have comparable usage rates, the project matrix is considered the most effective. Companies using matrix management should consider project matrices if they are trying to improve performance.
Subjects: Article Summaries, Organizational Behavior
Source: Erik W. Larson, David H. Gobeli, California Management Review, Vol. 29, No. 4, Summer, 1987, pp. 126-138
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