Line and Staff Relationship in Organization (with Example Diagram)
Line-staff organization, in management, approach in which authorities (e.g., Relationships between individuals, groups, and divisions are based on lines of. Definition: Line and staff organization is an organization in which line managers make decisions, and staff personnel provide advice and support. Meaning. Staff and line are names given to different types of functions in organizations. A " line function" is For example, human resources, accounting, public relations and the legal department are generally considered to be staff functions. Both terms.
Line authority gives a superior a line of authority over a subordinate. It exists in all organizations as an uninterrupted scale or series of steps. Hence, The scalar principle in the organization The clearer the line of authority from the ultimate management position in an enterprise to every subordinate position is, the clearer will be the responsibility for decision-making and the more effective will be organization communication. In many large enterprises, the steps are long and complex; but even in the smallest; the very fact of organization introduces the scalar principle.
It, therefore, becomes apparent from the scalar principle that line authority is that relationship in which a superior exercise direct supervision over a subordinate authority relationship being in direct line or steps. The nature of the staff relationship is advisory.
Line and Staff Organization
The function of people in a pure staff capacity is to investigate, research, and give advice to line managers. Benefits of Staff There are many advantages and benefits out of the use of staff. A few of them are: Handling complex managerial functions The necessity of having the advice of qualified staff specializes in various areas of an organization can scarcely be overemphasized, especially as operations become more and more complex.
Assisting in decision-making Managers are now faced with the necessity of making decisions that require expert knowledge in matters like environmental issues, strengths, and weaknesses of the organization, so on and so forth.
They consist of advisory legalservice human resourcesor control accounting groups.
Staff groups support those engaged in the central productive activity of the enterprise. Thus, staff groups create the infrastructure of the organization. Human resources, information technologies, and finance are infrastructural functions. Staff groups provide analysis, research, counselmonitoring, evaluation, and other activities that would otherwise reduce organizational efficiency if carried out by personnel in line groups.
Staff groups are therefore responsible to their appropriate line units. Although line and staff may operate at different levels of an organization, all positions are defined relative to their line or staff function.
Differentiating line and staff functions is straightforward in that it involves identifying the beneficiaries of the activity, product, or service.
If the beneficiaries are employees, then it is a staff function. Otherwise, the activity is related to the line organization. By modifying organizational hierarchies to include staff functions, organizational capacity for processing information is increased without sacrificing lines of authority. As we talk about discipline, line organization, is strict, whereas line and staff organization is loose. In a line organization, the line executives are the generalist, who is directly responsible for accomplishing the objectives of the organization.
There is centralization of authority in a line organization, and so all the decisions of the organization are taken by the top authority only. Conversely, in line and staff organization, there is a combination of centralisation and decentralisation, in essence, some of the decisions are centrally taken while some are diffused.
Staff and line
Line organization, is good for small corporations, as, in such a structure, the authority is concentrated at the top, which makes it difficult to manage if the number of employees are large. On the contrary, Line and staff organization, is best suited for large corporations due to the presence of staff specialist, who use their knowledge to advice line managers on complex issues.
Conclusion To sum up, line and staff organization is an advancement over the line organization, So, it is quite obvious that the former is better than the latter as it reduces the limitations of the line organization. At present, line and staff organization, is implemented in most of the organizations, because in the competitive business environment, specialised knowledge is required to survive and grow in the market.