Using the multi-dimensional organizational design in business is a good way to keep the responsibility and power in balance. All persons involved in the project will be responsible for making sure the goals and objectives of the organization are met. There will be checks and balances. If problems arise, there will be set guidelines on how these problems will be solved and who is responsible for solving them.
A matrix organization allows managers to have a smaller group of employees to supervise and keeps them from being over-extended. Having only a few managers to monitor a large work force decreases employee morale, and is not efficient in terms of getting things done. A matrix organization allows units to focus on their tasks and perform the best work.
It is important for an organization to be mufti-dimensional, due to control issues. If the same person handles the collection and recording of cash, for example, that person may be tempted to embezzle cash. If, however, these duties are separate, fraud is much less likely to occur. Various departments should do separate tasks and periodically check each others' work.
The Matrix organization allows flexible assignment of people where they can best serve the current business need, but can still be structured to provide a degree of self-identification of the individual with an organizational group. The ability to place people where they are most needed allows an organization to be more agile in response to a changing market and competitive environment. In contrast, the traditional hierarchical structure tends to lead to the ossification of organizational function - under this structure, it can be difficult to adjust to meet a new need for which the existing structure was not designed. We also talk often about "stovepiping" - the tendency of the individual units within the organization to become parochial in their interests. The multi-dimensional organization avoids stovepiping by continually allowing for the reconfiguration of the organization.
Companies like Procter & Gamble, Wal-Mart, and IBM have used this multi-dimensional design and have taken off to become empires. In order to grow and earn money, companies need to diversify and move in to different businesses and expand internationally. A complex environment allows the business to segment itself when necessary and a Matrix design allows this to happen.
Matrix / Multidimensional organizational design do not work well until the company understand how to deal with it. A matrix could drive to inefficiencies and lack of accountability. The organizational design should boost the decision making and problem solving process within the company. Industry/clients/geographies/culture and production should drive design decisions.
A multi-dimensional organizational design may be the best way to restructure some businesses, but not necessarily all of them. Businesses are like the people who form them, with each having its own personality and best way of approaching a problem. For some businesses, a simpler restructuring may work better. For others, a complicated system works better. It all depends on the business in question.
In order for a business to survive reorganization, it must strive to employ methods that communicate the needs of the client. The Matrix has a systematic approach to restructuring that induces an environment of disorganization during the restructuring process. The determining factors that make for the success of the Matrix organizational design rely heavily on internal systems. Internal systems must be organized in such a way that the client focus is not diminished. If the client is removed from being the core, business can be adversely affected.
There are many ways to restructure a business. If you want more supervisors managing less people, then a matrix will work well. If not, you have to look at the business' goals and the best way to set it up. Do you want workers to work under one manager, or many? Not every business fits into the same category, and the business strategy should reflect the work style and goals of the company.
In my opinion, the less organizational structures a business has, the easier it will be for someone at the top to be an effective leader. Too many organizational dimensions just lead to very time-consuming debates, conferences and so on, because then decisions have to be made on too many levels before you can actually get somewhere. It seems more effective and time efficient to me to have a clearly layered structure with one element to it, where the responsibilities and tasks have been clearly outlined and distributed.
Not everything can fit in one box; businesses range from mom and pop operations to large corporations, and they have to be handled differently. One system can not and will not work for all.
While in some businesses, grouping all artists or engineers together may be a good idea, there is some difficulty in the Matrix design because there are too many managers that the employees have to work under. This over-abundance of managers is economically costly and often causes the workers to have internal conflicts about who to be loyal to, their functional managers or their product manager, etc. The weakened nature of the product manager in the Matrix design can cause difficulty as often the teams have a lot of independence and do not heed the requests of the product manager for products.
Because of these factors, I would consider the Matrix system as probably not the best one around and would try to devise another or to use the traditional model and modify it to meet the needs of the business.
Matrix organizations are inefficient, with too many people on top for whom consensus is required to make a decision. Consensus building has a wonderful sound to it. Build a whole team with many perspectives and bring everyone into agreement around the perfect solution. Unfortunately, a company cannot be a democracy if it is to respond quickly to the market and to challenges as it arises. Consensus is slow. Team building takes up time and energy that is not necessary in a hierarchy. Matrix organizations add many stakeholders but almost no way to make a quick decision, which is essential in life and death decisions for an organization.
The multi-dimensional organizational design approach is very good at restructuring every aspect of some businesses, but what works for one business may not work for another. Each business has its own specific needs and plans to restructure should be tailored to those specific needs. This will ensure a more successful restructuring plan.
The Matrix business design is much too complex to serve the customer well. Each person in the organization can too easily pass the responsibility to the next person, leaving the customer frustrated and unable to get a fast response. The final decision-making abilities are skewed to the point where nobody really has to be the final decider. It's too easy to put off a costumer's complaint indefinitely.