Describe line authority and staff is a relationship

Staff and line - Wikipedia

describe line authority and staff is a relationship

Yet the line-and-staff relationships of the members of an organization must The clearer the line of authority from the ultimate management position in an. Staff offer line managers planning advice through research, analysis and This ' dotted line' relationship indicates the functional authority of. Another aspect of line-staff relationship is based on their authority relations. The line managers have command authority over their departments. Similarly, staff.

describe line authority and staff is a relationship

As we talk about discipline, line organization, is strict, whereas line and staff organization is loose. In a line organization, the line executives are the generalist, who is directly responsible for accomplishing the objectives of the organization. There is centralization of authority in a line organization, and so all the decisions of the organization are taken by the top authority only.

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  • Line and staff Authority

Conversely, in line and staff organization, there is a combination of centralisation and decentralisation, in essence, some of the decisions are centrally taken while some are diffused. Line organization, is good for small corporations, as, in such a structure, the authority is concentrated at the top, which makes it difficult to manage if the number of employees are large.

On the contrary, Line and staff organization, is best suited for large corporations due to the presence of staff specialist, who use their knowledge to advice line managers on complex issues. Conclusion To sum up, line and staff organization is an advancement over the line organization, So, it is quite obvious that the former is better than the latter as it reduces the limitations of the line organization. At present, line and staff organization, is implemented in most of the organizations, because in the competitive business environment, specialised knowledge is required to survive and grow in the market.

Difference Between Line and Line & Staff Organization

As an organization expands, it usually needs employees with expertise in diversified areas. Although small organizations may also require this kind of diverse expertise, they often find it more practical to hire part time consultants to provide it is as needed rather than to hire full time staff personnel, who may not always be kept busy.

A plant manager has line authority over each immediate subordinate, human resource manager, the production manager and the sales manager.

However, the human resource manager has staff authority in relation to the plant manger, meaning the human resource manager has staff authority in relation to the plant manager, meaning the human resource manager possesses the right to advise the plant manager on human resource matters.


Still final decisions concerning human resource matters are in the hands of the plant manager, the person holding the line authority. Harold Stieglitz has pinpointed 3 roles that staff personnel typically perform to assist line personnel: The Advisory or Counseling Role: In this role, staff personnel use their professional expertise to solve organizational problems.

The staff personnel are, in effect, internal consultants whose relationship with line personnel is similar to that of a professional and a client. Staff personnel in this role provide services that can more efficiently and effectively be provided by a single centralized staff group than by many individuals scattered throughout the organization.

This role can probably best be understood if staff personnel are viewed as suppliers and line personnel as customers.

Line and staff Authority

From the view point of Staff Personnel, conflict is created because line personnel do not make proper use of staff personnel, resist new ideas and refuse to give staff personnel enough authority to do their jobs. Staff Personnel can often avert line-staff conflicts if they strive to emphasize the objectives of the organization as a whole, encourage and educate line personnel in the appropriate use of staff personnel, obtain any necessary skills they do not already possess, and deal intelligently with the resistance to change rather than view it as an immovable barrier.

Line personnel can do their part to minimize line staff conflict by sing staff personnel wherever possible, making proper use of the staff abilities, and keeping staff personnel appropriately informed.

An escape clause for staff specialists Staff specialists only propose a plan; others must make the decision to adopt the plan and put it into operation. This creates an ideal situation for shifting blame for mistakes.

describe line authority and staff is a relationship

The staff will claim that it was a good plan and that it failed because the operating manager was inefficient and ineffective. Line authority being undermined Operating line managers represent the main line of the organization and they also gain a degree of indispensability.

describe line authority and staff is a relationship

The staff specialists may, however, forget that their value lives in the extent to which they strengthen line managers and also that they are to counsel and not to order. They need to remember that if they undermine line authority, they risk becoming expendable. As a matter of fact, if there is an expendable person in an organization, it is most likely to be the staff specialist.

Impracticality of staff recommendations Since staff people do not implement what they recommend, it is possible that they may think in a vacuum, thereby making their recommendations impractical and which in their turn, often results in friction, loss of morale and sabotage. Disunity in command Unity of command is unavoidable for the management of any organization to reach its goal.

So, multiple authorities, created out of the use of staff specialists, may create disastrous consequences. Complicacy in leadership and control The chief executive of a large organization may be so busy dealing with the advice and recommendations of a large number of staff specialists that he finds little time to devote for operating departments.