Roles and responsibilities within an organisational structure
A KBR case study

Page 3: Hierarchy, flat and matrix structures

A hierarchy is an organisation structured in layers where each person has clear roles and responsibilities. Those at the top of the hierarchy have more authority than those lower down. Just as KBR's organisational structure is designed to deliver its business goals and strategy, the organisational structure of Aspire Defence Services Ltd (ADSL) is designed to reflect the intended outcomes of the project. The structure is a relatively flat hierarchy. This means there are only a few layers within it. Having a flat structure can aid communication as messages do not have to pass through many intermediaries.

The Senior Management Team (SMT) of ADSL is at the top. The SMT takes high level responsibility for contract delivery, financial control, communications management and client relationship. The flat organisational structure of ADSL gives management and staff in subsidiary units a good level of contact with senior management. A traditional functional structure is one where there are separate departments which operate under the leadership of those at the top of the hierarchy. ADSL, the business entity tasked with providing the services for Project Allenby/Connaught, is gradually moving towards a matrix style of working.

Within a matrix structure, project groups of workers with different skills are created from across the functions of the business. The project based nature of KBR's work benefits from this organisational style. This will mean that specialist managers and staff are allocated to specific projects without the need to refer back to the division or level in which they are employed.

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