Line and Staff Organization
says, "The subject of authority relationships is one of the grossly misunder The apparent failure to adequately define line and staff seems to be d rived from the. For running organization properly both line and staff member's contribution is required and their relationship must be well defined in organizational structure. The line-and-staff organization combines the line organization with staff has line authority over his or her employees by virtue of authority relationships between the With clearly defined lines of authority and responsibility, each group may.
He or she does not actively engage in profit-making activities, but does provide legal support to those who do. Therefore, staff positions, whether personnel or managers, engage in activities that are supportive to line personnel. Three types of authority are present: Line authority is the right to carry out assignments and exact performance from other individuals.
Line authority flows down the chain of command. For example, line authority gives a production supervisor the right to direct an employee to operate a particular machine, and it gives the vice president of finance the right to request a certain report from a department head.
Therefore, line authority gives an individual a certain degree of power relating to the performance of an organizational task. Two important clarifications should be considered, however, when discussing line authority: 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. Staff authority is the right to advise or counsel those with line authority.
For example, human resource department employees help other departments by selecting and developing a qualified workforce. A quality control manager aids a production manager by determining the acceptable quality level of products or services at a manufacturing company, initiating quality programs, and carrying out statistical analysis to ensure compliance with quality standards.
Therefore, staff authority gives staff personnel the right to offer advice in an effort to improve line operations. Functional authority is referred to as limited line authority. It gives a staff person power over a particular function, such as safety or accounting.
Staff and line - Wikipedia
Usually, functional authority is given to specific staff personnel with expertise in a certain area. 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.
Functional authority is a special type of authority for staff personnel, which must be designated by top management. Although minimal conflict due to differences in viewpoints is natural, conflict on the part of line and staff personnel can disrupt an entire organization. There are many reasons for conflict.
Poor human relations, overlapping authority and responsibility, and misuse of staff personnel by top management are all primary reasons for feelings of resentment between line and staff personnel. This resentment can result in various departments viewing the organization from a narrow stance instead of looking at the organization as a whole.
Fortunately, there are several ways to minimize conflict. One way is to integrate line and staff personnel into a work team. The success of the work team depends on how well each group can work together in efforts to increase productivity and performance.
Another solution is to ensure that the areas of responsibility and authority of both line and staff personnel are clearly defined. With clearly defined lines of authority and responsibility, each group may better understand their role in the organization.
A third way to minimize conflict is to hold both line and staff personnel accountable for the results of their own activities. In other words, line personnel should not be entirely responsible for poor performance resulting from staff personnel advice.
Staff groups are engaged in tasks that provide support for line groups. 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.
Staff and line
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. However, studies indicate that although line-staff innovations may preserve the appearance of formal line authority, staff groups, particularly specialized staff, often in effect assume decision-making responsibilities because their lines of communication to upper management are shorter.
This is the case for staff specialists who monitor and report on line performance. The authority of staff specialists may consist of pure advice-giving, or specialists may have the right to pass along directives from upper management to those they do not formally supervise. This naturally leads to power struggles between line and staff.