This is true of something small, like a customer request, as well as far larger projects, such as developing a new feature to meet customer demands. This is a frustrating experience for the customer, and a missed opportunity for your company to develop a lasting relationship. While an organization has many different functions, each of these functions exists to serve the customer, so they should work together to provide a comprehensive, positive customer experience. The advantage of this type of structure is that it specializes in the needs of each customer group but can ignore the needs of different customer types. A patient seen as an outpatient has very different needs than those of patients who spend time in the hospital as inpatients.

Military, government, and other very large organizations use a hierarchy to determine the level of control employees have over their work as well as their rank relative to others. Large or small, every organization should operate with a defined organizational structure. A well thought out and strategic business configuration clarifies reporting relationships and supports good communication – type of team structure resulting in efficient and effective work process flow. On the downside, functional structures are prone to develop silo thinking and lose sight of company goals. The strong focus on function often comes with a weaker focus on customers or products. An organizational structure has a well-defined reporting structure, reducing friction among employees by clarifying roles and responsibilities.

You could be in a workplace team, a sports team or maybe you’re just getting started in management and want to understand the different types of teams. Whatever reason you’re here, we’re glad you snuck over to this side of the internet. Teams may develop strong team loyalties that cause a loss of focus on larger organization goals. The two‐boss system is susceptible to power struggles, as functional supervisors and team leaders vie with one another to exercise authority. This podcast on structuring sales teams at public companies with Amy Appleyard, SVP of Sales at CarbonBlack provides some interesting insights as well.

Typically, there is a functional reporting line as well as a product- based reporting line . A matrix organizational chart looks like a grid, and it shows cross-functional teams that form for special projects. For example, an engineer may regularly belong to the engineering department but work on a temporary project . The matrix org chart accounts for both of these roles and reporting relationships.

Organizations also tend to achieve such structure when they are strongly controlled from outside. Also, such structure is common for organizations that perform work that is related to some sort of control , or organizations with special safety requirements . Open Value Network, also known as OVN, is a transnational open network that makes heavy use of technology to support its operations. Weber (1948, p. 214) gives the analogy that “the fully developed bureaucratic mechanism compares with other organizations exactly as does the machine compare with the non-mechanical modes of production. They are better suited for more complex or larger scale organizations, usually adopting a tall structure. The tension between bureaucratic structures and non-bureaucratic is echoed in Burns and Stalker’s distinction between mechanistic and organic structures.

type of team structure

We define leadership team structure as the arrangement and organization of the tangible interrelated elements of a leadership team. These elements include a leadership team’s distinct purpose, the unique enterprise focused roles that comprise a leadership team and the rhythm with which a leadership team manages itself. A well thought out team structure serves as an important catalyst for greater leadership team impact. Specifically, good structure can help foster innovation, strengthen the quality of decision-making and enhance cross-organization collaboration. FOCUS WORK TEAM – A focus work team is analogous to a safety committee, steering committee, recognition board, or management group.

An Organizational Structure Helps You Determine Your Company’s Leadership Hierarchy And Flow Of Information

So, if you sell several products, you can dedicate a specific product line to each division, making things easier. If you’re looking to define career paths and determine individual positions in your firm, this structure is for you. If you’re in the same boat, we’ll uncover ways to create a productive team that contributes to your company’s well-being and prosperity.

type of team structure

Employees may be part of a functional group (i.e. engineer) but may serve on a team that supports new product development (i.e. new album). This kind of structure may have members of different groups working together to develop a new product line. Organizations that use a traditional hierarchical structure rely on a vertical chain of command as the prime method of organizing employees and their responsibilities.

Functional Organizational Structure

For instance, employees may have difficulty knowing to whom they should report. That can lead to uncertainty as to who is responsible for what in the organization. This kind of team may be created after the financial crisis or any unplanned event or challenge. It is aimed to come up with solutions to help the company climb out of a steep recession.

  • They even attempt to solve organizational-wide issues like flextime and insurance.
  • You would opt for the projectized organizational structure since your company mainly works with temporary projects.
  • A matrix organizational chart looks like a grid, and it shows cross-functional teams that form for special projects.
  • One part, e.g. the bookkeeping, might operate in a rather mechanistic functional structure, whereas another part, e.g. the development team, works in a team-based structure.

Functional teams are permanent and include members of the same department with different responsibilities. A manager is responsible for everything and everyone reports to them. This is the typical top-down management approach that you’ll see in most organisations. Across all organisational teams, it’s important to prioritise workplace culture; the foundations of which are communication and trust.


A functional organizational structure is a structure that consists of activities such as coordination, supervision and task allocation. The organizational structure determines how the organization performs or operates. The term “organizational structure” refers to how the people in an organization are grouped and to whom they report. Some common functions within an organization include production, marketing, human resources, and accounting.

type of team structure

Circular structures work well for small companies where the roles of employees and managers require them to communicate well with one another and share responsibilities. One of the biggest advantages of this structure is that it enables the regions to make decisions based on what is best for them. They may have specific market requirements or customer needs, for example. On the downside, this type of decentralization can cause duplication of resources and lack of cohesiveness with the corporate brand. Although organizational structures set the basis for forming an efficient team, you must keep a few tips in mind to create a more effective team.

Keep in mind that each individual has limited capacity, and they might need training on what you want them to do. Lastly, there is a risk that self-directed teams compete with each other. While this can be healthy, competition can also harm the interests of your organization as a whole. Formalization describes how decision-making, work performance and other parameters in your organization are standardized by rules, SOPs and other tools.


If implementing a team-based structure might sound too intimidating, think about using a matrix-structure with decentralized power. Team-based structures are highly adaptable, flexible and responsive to new outside challenges. Due to the decentralized power and good communication, decision-making tends to be quick and good. The combination of divisional focus and functional expertise makes matrix structures a right choice in very complex environments. For different types of decisions, centralized and decentralized decisions can exist parallelly in the same company. Think about strategic decisions made centrally by the CEO, whereas pricing or marketing decisions are being made decentralized by and for each market or product line.

The functional organizational structure serves this company best because it supports production operations. Large enterprises especially might employ a divisional organizational structure to configure their org chart. The philosophy behind this model eliminates seniority and red tape to distribute responsibilities and power equally across the board, giving everyone a hand in the decision-making process. Many startups begin with a flat structure but may choose to add hierarchy into the mix as they scale.

Although some organizations may experience natural progression through these structures as they scale, teams do not need to aim for any structure other than the one that provides adequate support and resources. In this type of organizational structure, you may have many functional divisions with a little centralization. Although they will guide a part-time staff, project managers do not have much authority.

The number of layers of management depends on the size of the organization. Because managers in large companies may have difficulty keeping track of all their company’s products and activities, specialized departments may develop. These departments are divided according to their organizational outputs.

Your company is big, and you need permanent departments to keep your organization functioning smoothly. You would opt for the projectized organizational structure since your company mainly works with temporary projects. This structure type splits parts of the business into self-governing divisions, each with its own executive suite. This allows larger sections of the company to run with autonomy, often having their own business operations entirely, like hiring, marketing, and budgeting. Burnout – Under the matrix organizational structure, everyone juggles a heavy workload, often on top of their everyday responsibilities, which isn’t ideal for morale and motivation.

Why Do Cross Functional Teams Exist?

It encourages poor communication and low interaction among different departments. The different departments have some flexibility to operate separately from the company at large. It doesn’t encourage communication and interaction among different departments. Bureaucratic hurdles could delay project completion and discourage employees from taking risks. While structures offer a way to form and organize members within a team, undermining the importance of a positive work environment would certainly not get you anywhere.

What Is Corporate Structure?

A business needs to have an organizational structure in place to be successful. There are several types of organizational structures commonly used by companies, nine of which we expand upon below. It’ll come as no surprise that a team-based organizational structure groups employees according to (what else?) teams—think Scrum teamsor tiger teams. A team organizational structure is meant to disrupt the traditional hierarchy, focusing more on problem-solving, cooperation, and giving employees more control. Similar to a hierarchical organizational structure, a functional org structure starts with positions with the highest levels of responsibility at the top and goes down from there.

It can also describe an internal structure that focuses more on open communication and relationships rather than hierarchy. But not every company functions best with a hierarchical organizational structure. Many types of organizational charts exist because many types of organizational structures exist. From functional reporting to flat decision-making, these five types of organizational structures offer unique advantages. In a matrix structure, employees have dual reporting relationships, generally to both a functional manager and a division/product manager. This can lead to conflicts in resource utilization between a division and a function, making it more difficult to implement cost allocation because a single employee can be a member of two teams at the same time.

An organizational structure is a set of rules, roles, relationships and responsibilities that determine how a company’s activities should be directed to achieve its goals. It also governs the flow of information through levels of the company and outlines the reporting relationship among midlevel staff, senior management, executives and owners. It is effectively a hierarchy for a company, though some organizational structures emphasize a near-total lack of hierarchy. A divisional organizational structure is comprised of multiple, smaller functional structures (i.e. each division within a divisional structure can have its own marketing team, its own sales team, and so on).

The pyramid-shaped organizational chart we referred to earlier is known as a hierarchical org chart. It’s the most common type of organizational structure—the chain of command goes from the top (e.g., the CEO or manager) down (e.g., entry-level and low-level employees), and each employee has a supervisor. Process-based org models are designed around the flow of processes that allow a business to bring a product or service to market. For instance, research and development comes before customer acquisition, which comes before order fulfillment; therefore, employees would be organized around these three discrete processes. This structure considers how employees work together and interact with each other to create a flow that improves the productivity of the business.

Since success is measured by pod, each member of the sales force has a larger, more holistic view of the entire company. Pods build more meaningful connections between people who are working together. You can specialize pods based on different industries, verticals, or countries. Each pod works together to win the customer, and keep them happy afterwards. That way, not only can the analyst familiarize themselves with the ongoing activities in each team, they are also able to respond quickly to changes in budgets and forecasts with the latest information. Finally, it is important for leadership teams to document expectations, metrics and plans so that progress can be monitored effectively.

Focuses attention on your strategic goals, instead of each department focusing on its agenda. As the company expands, it will need to have a hybrid structure to support its business objective. Formalization defines how employees should behave and communicate through the chain of command. Each department has a unique set of activities and a department head. Sometimes, departments are known as sections and led by the section head.