Strategic Management: Formulation and Implementation

Hybrid Organization And Supplemental Methods

A single type of structural design is not always sufficient to meet the requirements of strategy. When this occurs, one option is to mix and blend the basic organization forms, matching structure to strategy, requirement by requirement, and unit by unit. Hybrid structure is a form of departmentalization that adopts parts of both functional and divisional structures at the same level of management.

The major potential advantage of the hybrid structure is that the combination may allow the firm to gain the advantages offered by the primary structure while at least diminishing the impact of the disadvantages. Other advantages include:

  1. with a hybrid design, an organization can achieve specialized expertise and economic of scale in major functional areas;
  2. the mix of functional and divisional departmentalization helps align divisional and corporate goals;
  3. adaptability and flexibility in handling diverse product or service lines, geographic areas, or customers are possible through a partial divisional structure.

In one sense, the disadvantages of the hybrid structure mirror the advantages (see Table 31). They include:

  1. hybrid organizations gradually tend to develop excessively large staffs in the corporatelevel functional departments;
  2. they may also attempt to exorcise increasing, amounts of control over the various divisions, causing considerable conflict;
  3. hybrid structures can be slow to respond the exceptional situations that require coordination between a division and a corporate functional department.

Correct usage hybrid structure, however, should minimize these disadvantages.

Another method is to supplement a basis organization design with special situation devices such as project manager / project staff approaches, task force approaches, or venture teams.