Case study This essay will look at a case study based on a company by the name of Dow Corning and what problems they faced when introducing the matrix structure to their company. It will also contain possible methods that could have minimised the impact of the problems that had arisen during the course of the development. The matrix structure as defined by David Needle (2010 p. 185) is a combination of the customer orientation of the project team and the economies of scale of the functional structure which focuses on specialist orientation and the product or market focus of he multidivisional structure which enforces product grouping.
The matrix structure encourages individuals to work across teams and projects as well as within their own departments or functions in order to accomplish a main goal. For example, a project/ task team established to develop a new product may include design specialists as well as those that obtain marketing and financial skills. Dow corning encountered a range of problems as they switched to the matrix structure. One problem Dow corning encountered was conflict between the demands of the home and foreign markets as they didn’t have enough products to meet both ets of demands.
This could have been reduced if Dow corning had created two teams. One for the production of the home products and another for the production of the foreign products, so that they could provide to both without having to cut down production on one and risk losing valuable customers and in order to motivate their employees they could have used a reward system so that if they managed to supply their customers with the desired product the employees involved would get a bonus or extra vacation time so that they feel as though they are valuable to the company.
There was also conflict over the central supply of raw materials as they may have been sourcing locally before but when they went international they change their supplier to a foreign supplier as the materials were cheaper. They could have minimised the effects of this by sourcing some materials from abroad and some from near where they are located. Another problem that Dow corning encountered was that employees complained that they had too many bosses as they some employees may have been in more than one project team so they had to report to more than one person.
This could have been minimised by only assigning each employee with one ask outside of their department so that they would only have to report to two different people or if possible put their manager in control of the project they are working on so they only have to report to one person instead of having them report to 4 or 5 different mangers as it could demotivate them and it could affect the quality of the work they produce.
However to avoid this they could use motivate the employees by offering them training and development schemes so that they can gain more knowledge and so it will help them with future promotions so that they feel that verything they are doing will lead to a bigger achievement for them. the matrix structure there were many things they could have done to minimise the effects on the company like an increase in employees or project groups.
They could have also offered rewards or training and development for the employees that worked the hardest and got the best results because of their projects. References Engels, F. , Marx, K. (1818-1895) Communist manifesto Harris, B. (2013) Needle, D. (2010) Business in context: an introduction to business and its environment fifth edition.