Distinguish between line and staff relationship in an organization

Differences Between Line & Staff Functions | Bizfluent

distinguish between line and staff relationship in an organization

Perhaps the most important (and obvious) difference between line and staff is purpose: line's purpose is to work directly toward organisational goals, whereas . Hence, there is greater flexibility in the organisation. Confusion: If the pattern of authority relationship between line and staff executives is not clearly indicated. Much confusion has arisen among both scholars and managers as to what “line” and “staff' mean. As a result, there is probably no area of management that.

James Thew Organizational structure involves, in addition to task organizational boundary considerations, the designation of jobs within an organization and the relationships among those jobs.

distinguish between line and staff relationship in an organization

There are numerous ways to structure jobs within an organization, but two of the most basic forms include simple line structures and line-and-staff structures. In a line organization, top management has complete control, and the chain of command is clear and simple.

Examples of line organizations are small businesses in which the top manager, often the owner, is positioned at the top of the organizational structure and has clear "lines" of distinction between him and his subordinates. The line-and-staff organization combines the line organization with staff departments that support and advise line departments.


Most medium and large-sized firms exhibit line-and-staff organizational structures. The distinguishing characteristic between simple line organizations and line-and-staff organizations is the multiple layers of management within line-and-staff organizations.

The following sections refer primarily to line-and-staff structures, although the advantages and disadvantages discussed apply to both types of organizational structures. Several advantages and disadvantages are present within a line-and-staff organization. An advantage of a line-and-staff organization is the availability of technical specialists. Staff experts in specific areas are incorporated into the formal chain of command.

distinguish between line and staff relationship in an organization

A disadvantage of a line-and-staff organization is conflict between line and staff personnel. Some positions are primary to the company's mission, whereas others are secondary—in the form of support and indirect contribution. Although positions within a line-and-staff organization can be differentiated in several ways, the simplest approach classifies them as being either line or staff. A line position is directly involved in the day-to-day operations of the organization, such as producing or selling a product or service.

distinguish between line and staff relationship in an organization

Line positions are occupied by line personnel and line managers. Line personnel carry out the primary activities of a business and are considered essential to the basic functioning of the organization.

Line managers make the majority of the decisions and direct line personnel to achieve company goals. An example of a line manager is a marketing executive. Definition of Line and Staff Organization Line and staff organization is the organization that combines the merits of line and functional organization, by adding the functional specialist to the line organization.

Here, line authority stays same, as in the case of line organization and it flows downward. The functional experts, give advise to the front line managers, in the matters relevant to the object of the organization. The specialist works as staff and serves the line officials, by supporting and guiding them, whenever necessary.

There are a number of benefits of line and staff organization, in the sense that it gives relief to the line managers and they can concentrate on the implementation of policies and plans. Moreover, there is a benefit of specialization, as in work is divided between the line and staff executives, and they focus on their respective area. In this type of organization, the decision making is quick and easy, as the expert advice can help in making better decisions.

Line organization can be understood as a vertical organization, wherein the superior can give orders to a subordinate, through a direct chain of command. Line and staff functions have built-in inherent conflicts that management has to reconcile to have a smooth-running organization. Line Positions Line positions in a company are those that have the responsibility and authority for achieving the major goals of the corporation.

Typically, these goals are targets for revenues and profits.

Line and Staff Relationship in Organization (with Example Diagram)

Line employees are those directly involved in the daily operations of a business by selling or producing a product or service. These positions can include production, marketing and sales.

They are the primary activities of a company and are essential to the basic operations of a business.

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  • Line and Staff Relationship in Organization (with Example Diagram)
  • Staff and line

Because of the importance of producing and selling, managers of line positions have the responsibility for making most of the decisions of a company. Staff Functions The primary purpose of staff positions in most companies is to provide assistance and specialized advice and expertise to colleagues in line positions. Staff functions include human resources, maintenance, legal, accounting and public relations. Staff positions can be further defined as technical or support people.

Examples of technical positions are accountants and engineers.