Types of Organisation structures-Line, Line and Staff and Committee Organisation

An organisation structure can be categorised into Line, Line and Staff and Committee. Line organisation structure represents direct vertical relationship. Every manager exercises a direct authority over his subordinate, who in turn directly reports only to his superior. Business is divided into various departments which are individually headed by Departmental Heads. Advantages of Line organisation:
authority and responsibility,
coordination, etc.
Disadvantages of Line organisation are  lack of specialisation, co-ordination, instability etc.
Line and Staff organisation represents specialised and supportive activities attached to the line of command through appointment of staff personnel, who provide advice in the field of their specialisation. Line managers are provided with executive authority where as staff officers act as advisors. Advantages of line and staff organization:
•    specialisation,
•    better discipline,
•    balanced decisions,
•    development of employees, etc.
The disadvantages of Line and Staff organization:
•    huge conflict between line and staff officials,
•    lack of responsibility of non accountability staff personnel,
•    more dependence on staff personnel for taking decisions, etc.
Under Committee organisation structure, responsibility of any special function is vested with a group of individuals known as ‘Committee’. Members comprising the committee are experts in their respective fields and decisions are taken collectively. Such type of structure is useful in religious and political institutions. The advantages of Committee organisation are balanced decisions due to participation of more members, expert advice of available members, etc. Disadvantages of Committee organisation are lack  business secrecy, delay in decision making,  etc.

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  • Q1

    List any four complaints made by the line managers against the staff officials.


    Line officials usually complain that:a) Staff officers do not give practical advice.
    b) The staff officers claim credit only for those programmes which are successful.
    c) The staff officers interfere in tasks which are outside their respective area of expertise.
    d) The superiority complex in staff officer creates conflict and friction between them and line officials.

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  • Q2

    Briefly explain Line & staff organisation.


    In line and staff organisation, specialized and supportive activities are attached to the line of command by appointing staff personnel who provide advice in the field of their specialisation. It is a blend of both line organisation and functional organisations. The line managers are provided with the executive authority and the staff officers act as advisors to them.

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  • Q3

    In which direction does responsibility in line organisation flow?


    In line organisation, responsibility flows upwards from lower level to top level.

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  • Q4

    Identify the principle on which line organisation is based upon.


    Line organisation follows the 'scalar chain principle' wherein the authority flows vertically downwards from top to bottom and responsibility flows upwards from lower level to top level.

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  • Q5

    In line and staff organisation, what do the staff officials act as?


    The staff officials act as ‘Advisors’ by providing expert knowledge and practical advice to the line managers.

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