walls between our departments are higher than between us and our competitors.
functional composition of an organization may consist of different departments,
units, divisions, business streams or groups, but there are three main
are the areas that are directly involved in producing products or delivering
services. It is these activities
that contribute most to the competitiveness of an organization. Within these
areas, the responsibilities of people are usually well understood. The line
functions of a typical manufacturing company include purchasing, manufacturing,
sales and customer service, each located in separate departments. Local
government consist of departments covering housing, recycling, planning,
highways, health and safety, etc.
are specialist functional areas, which extend across the organization and help
make the line functions more effective but are not directly involved with
producing products or services. Typical staff functions include administration,
training, personnel, legal, accounts, maintenance and medical services.
groups consist of people drawn from traditional functional areas (line and
staff) but welded together to form a temporary project team with its
own reporting structure. The advantage is that people from
different disciplines, with various skills, work together, but there is always
the danger of a clash of loyalties between the project team and the individual's
own department. Sometimes problems arise when the project team is disbanded
and members return to their original departments or even home countries, only to
find that they have lost their 'pecking order' for promotion. Organizations
working in this way must give thought to how the long-term career aspirations of
people are managed and protected.
areas, such as divisions, branches and departments, can be treated as mini
organizations and analyzed using our model. They have their own aspects (identity, purpose,
etc.) with all
the attendant elements, although some elements - customers, suppliers,
relationships and the target market - could be other internal departments.