Essay on Line and Stuff Authority

1189 Words Apr 8th, 2011 5 Pages
LINE-AND-STAFF ORGANIZATIONS
Organizational structure involves, in addition to task organizational boundary considerations, the designation of jobs within an organization and the relationships among those jobs. There are numerous ways to structure jobs within an organization, but two of the most basic forms include simple line structures and line-and-staff structures.
In a line organization, top management has complete control, and the chain of command is clear and simple. Examples of line organizations are small businesses in which the top manager, often the owner, is positioned at the top of the organizational structure and has clear "lines" of distinction between him and his subordinates.
The line-and-staff organization combines the
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Line positions are occupied by line personnel and line managers. Line personnel carry out the primary activities of a business and are considered essential to the basic functioning of the organization.
Line managers make the majority of the decisions and direct line personnel to achieve company goals. An example of a line manager is a marketing executive.

Figure 1
Line-and-Staff Organization
Although a marketing executive does not actually produce the product or service, he or she directly contributes to the firm's overall objectives through market forecasting and generating product or service demand. Therefore, line positions, whether they are personnel or managers, engage in activities that are functionally and directly related to the principal workflow of an organization.
Staff positions serve the organization by indirectly supporting line functions. Staff positions consist of staff personnel and staff managers. Staff personnel use their technical expertise to assist line personnel and aid top management in various business activities. Staff managers provide support, advice, and knowledge to other individuals in the chain of command.
Although staff managers are not part of the chain of command related to direct production of products or services, they do have authority over personnel. An example of a staff manager is a legal adviser. He or she does not actively engage in profit-making activities, but does

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