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Improving HR work efficiency in employee data management and workforce planning.

Pros and Cons of the Flatarchy

The flatarchy or team structure is a modern invention that aims to address the failings of the functional model. As the name suggests, it flattens the hierarchy and puts individuals with complementary skills into smaller working teams. Those teams are given a lot of autonomy and can choose how they work toward the company goals.


  • Fewer (if any) management layers are cost-efficient and promote faster decision-making.
  • The lines of communication remain open and clear throughout the organization.


  • Management could easily lose control and may find it hard to establish a base level of responsibility and accountability for the work and the organization as a whole.
  • With no boss to report to, employees can become confused about their roles.

Pros and Cons of the Matrix Structure

Companies that adopt a matrix structure group employees by both product and function, or by region and product, or by region and function and product. The matrix can be as big and as complicated as the company wishes. This means that each employee would have a number of different departments, divisions and managers. For example, an employee may have duties in both customer service and sales.


  • Matrix structures are more dynamic than functional structures because staff can share information widely across task and departmental boundaries.
  • Matrix structures ensure that individuals with specialist knowledge are assigned to the project with the greatest need.


  • The chain of command becomes increasingly complex under this type of structure, which may blur the lines of accountability and lead to conflicting loyalties among employees.
  • There may be gridlock in decision-making if a manager of one matrix disagrees with the manager of another matrix. Large organizations with a need for constant cross-departmental communication benefit most from this model.

What Is Organizational Design?

Organizational design is a diagnostic process or methodology. Its purpose is to identify the dysfunctional elements of a company’s procedures, systems, workflow – even its organizational structure – and then make positive changes to help the company meet its current business goals. Organizational design takes a holistic look at the company with a view to identifying inefficient workflows, such as communication breakdowns and steps that don’t add value. These might include:

  • Duplicated work effort
  • Siloed work that does not advance the overall company goal
  • Poor customer service or lack of focus on the customer
  • Lack of accountability (“It’s not my job”)
  • Turf wars and pointing the finger of blame rather than working to resolve problems
  • Bottlenecks in decision-making
  • Poorly defined systems and processes that hinder, rather than enable, people to do their job
  • Mistrust between managers and workers