Conflict between Staff and Line Managerial Officers

Essay by ichweisnixUniversity, Master's April 2004

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The article "Conflict between staff and line managerial officers" from Melville Dalton describes the situation of staff organizations in the 1950s. In this time staff organizations are relatively new and were "a response to many complex interrelated forces" . The goal in demanding specialists in form of "staff people" was to create higher production and more efficiency. This introduction of a new organizational structure is related to some problems which occur. The following questions treat these staff-line tensions.

Analyse the organizational conditions of the two groups?

General Relation Line-Staff Officers

The new structure based on experts in form of staff specialists and traditional line officers. The line officers are busy administrators which are responsible for parts of the existing organization and production. They have authority over the production process. The staff specialists are experts in their fields and have no direct authority over the production or people working there.

Some staff specialists have subordinates. The Role of staff specialists is to support and advise line managers and administrators. The support comprises the usage of specialized knowledge to increase production and efficiency.

Formal Structure of Staff and Line Organization.

The hierarchy of line and staff organizations differs in our example plants. While the staff members have only three to five levels of authority, had the line organization five to ten. This had the result that staff members have fewer possible positions for exercise of authority into which they can move. Other consequences of these hierarchies were:

*an increase of personnel in the staff to enlarge authority,

*a faster and disproportional growing of staff groups,

*a trend to higher personal movement from staff to line,

to increase authority and with this prestige and personal income.

Promotion of Staff Officers

The promotion of a staff officer depends on the approval of...