Merits and Demerits of Line and Staff Organization

Merits of Line and Staff Organization

Expert advice– Line managers receive specialized advice and assistance from staff experts. They are enabled to discharge their responsibilities more efficiently.

Relief to top executives– Staff carry out detailed investigation and supply information to line executives. Therefore , the burden of line executives is reduced. They get ample chance for creative thinking to generate new ideas.

Quality Decisions– Staff specialists provide adequate information and expert advice. As a result, line executives can take better decisions.

Training of Personnel– As every executive concentrates in one field, he acquires valuable experience. Young staff executive get opportunity of acquiring expertise in their respective fields of activity.

Flexibilities– Line and staff organization is comparatively more flexible. As the organization expands, staff can be added to help the line managers. There is more opportunity for advancement because a greater variety of responsible jobs is available.

Demerits Line and Staff Organization

Line-staff conflicts- The main problem of line and staff organization is that conflicts often arise between line managers and staff specialists.

Confusion- In actual practices, it is often very difficult to define clearly the authority relationship between line and staff. Different managers may not be clear as to what is the actual area of operations and what is expected of them

Ineffective staff- Staff personnel are not accountable for the results. Therefore, they may not take their tasks seriously.

Despite these limitations, line and staff organization is very suitable for large organizations. It provides ample scope for specialization without violating the unity of command. Its success depends upon the degree of harmony that is maintained among line and staff.  

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By Hassham

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