Conflict between line staff

Sometimes managers also feel that the staff man fails to see the whole picture and tends to operate only in terms of his own specialised area.

Line and staff conflict slideshare

Line managers feel that the staff manager interferes in their work and unnecessarily try to tell them how to do their work. Most medium and large-sized firms exhibit line-and-staff organizational structures. Dilution of authority: Staff managers often dilute the authority and be- little the responsibilities of line managers. Functional authority is referred to as limited line authority. Staff managers provide support, advice, and knowledge to other individuals in the chain of command. A disadvantage of a line-and-staff organization is conflict between line and staff personnel. A third way to minimize conflict is to hold both line and staff personnel accountable for the results of their own activities.

Relationships of staff with the line and their scope of authority need to be clearly defined. Two important clarifications should be considered, however, when discussing line authority: 1 line authority does not ensure effective performance, and 2 line authority is not restricted to line personnel.

Line positions are occupied by line personnel and line managers. Such relationships act as a cohesive force and integrate the whole organization. Staff often looks down upon the line.

difference between line and staff organization

But their relationship is one of the major sources of conflict in most organizations. Functional authority is a special type of authority for staff personnel, which must be designated by top management.

Staff function

A line position is directly involved in the day-to-day operations of the organization, such as producing or selling a product or service. The staff managers also have their complaints against the line managers. But their relationship is one of the major sources of conflict in most organizations. Line authority flows down the chain of command. Sometimes managers also feel that the staff man fails to see the whole picture and tends to operate only in terms of his own specialised area. Theoretical basis: Staff being specialists, they generally think within the ambit of their specialization. An example of a line manager is a marketing executive. However, in reality it is difficult for us to separate direct and supportive functions. In fact, functions are based on the nature of the organization. Line positions are occupied by line personnel and line managers. Encroachment on line authority: Line managers often allege that staff managers encroach upon their authority by giving recommendations on matters that come within their purview. Clarity in relationships: Duties and responsibilities of both line and staff should be clearly laid down.

A third way to minimize conflict is to hold both line and staff personnel accountable for the results of their own activities.

Line just informs staff after taking decisions.

Line and staff organization advantages and disadvantages

Functional authority is a special type of authority for staff personnel, which must be designated by top management. Staff positions serve the organization by indirectly supporting line functions. If we study the various organisational problems of different companies, we shall come to know of the very frequent instances of friction and conflict between line and staff. Usually, functional authority is given to specific staff personnel with expertise in a certain area. Line positions are occupied by line personnel and line managers. Problems of conflict may arise, but organizations that clearly delineate responsibility can help minimize such conflict. The line usually complains that if things go right then the staff takes the credit and if things go wrong then the line gets the blame for it. This resentment can result in various departments viewing the organization from a narrow stance instead of looking at the organization as a whole. On the contrary, staff managers are relatively younger and better educated. An advantage of a line-and-staff organization is the availability of technical specialists. The head of a staff department has line authority over his or her employees by virtue of authority relationships between the department head and his or her directly-reporting employees.

For example, members of an accounting department might have authority to request documents they need to prepare financial reports, or a human resource manager might have authority to ensure that all departments are complying with equal employment opportunity laws.

Thus a cost accountant may think only in terms of money costs and an engineer may think only about excellence in designing.

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How will you resolve conflict between line and staff management