Conflict between Staff and Line Managerial Officers Sample Essay

The article “Conflict between staff and line managerial officers” from Melville Dalton describes the state of affairs of staff organisations in the 1950s. In this clip staff organisations are comparatively new and were “a response to many complex interrelated forces” . The end in demanding specializers in signifier of “staff people” was to make higher production and more efficiency. This debut of a new organisational construction is related to some jobs which occur. The undermentioned inquiries treat these staff-line tensenesss.

Analyse the organisational conditions of the two groups?

General Relation Line-Staff Officers

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The new construction based on experts in signifier of staff specializers and traditional line officers. The line officers are busy decision makers which are responsible for parts of the bing organisation and production. They have authorization over the production procedure. The staff specializers are experts in their Fieldss and have no direct authorization over the production or people working at that place. Some staff specializers have subsidiaries. The Role of staff specializers is to back up and rede line directors and decision makers. The support comprises the use of specialised cognition to increase production and efficiency.

Formal Structure of Staff and Line Organization.

The hierarchy of line and staff organisations differs in our illustration workss. While the staff members have merely three to five degrees of authorization. had the line organisation five to ten. This had the consequence that staff members have fewer possible places for exercising of authorization into which they can travel. Other effects of these hierarchies were:

*an addition of forces in the staff to enlarge authorization.

*a faster and disproportionate growth of staff groups.

*a tendency to higher personal motion from staff to line.

to increase authorization and with this prestigiousness and personal income.

Promotion of Staff Officers

The publicity of a staff officer depends on the blessing of a top line officer. This influences the relation between staff and line in a controversial manner. because on the one manus staff and line officers are non the best friends. And on the other manus can no staff officer be promoted without the blessing of a line officer. The ground for that is to make the ability of understanding between staff and line officers. Important are non merely the formal jobs. the major precedence is on informal jobs. “Ideally the two organisations cooperate to better bing methods of output” But this is non world. More inside informations about the relation between staff and line will be discussed subsequently within the following inquiries.

Describe why the cooperation does non work?

Authority and Applicability

The article describes two important grounds why the cooperation does non work. On the one manus is the authorization job. The staff specializer has to move moderately but he does non acquire formal authorization over the production. On the other manus is non certain that the betterments. which the staff specializer suggests to the line director. are applicable. “In practise there is frequently much struggle between staff and line organisations…” .

Struggles in Staff-Line Cooperation

But there are besides other battles in the staff-line cooperation. The first is the individualistic behavior of staff officers. The 2nd is related to the first in the manner that the staff officer needs credence for his part. The ground behind that is to warrant their ain being. And the last is the tenure of the higher staff offices which depends on the blessing of line directors. The elaborate grounds for these battles are treated in the following inquiry.

Social and Structural Differences

Beside this facts are besides some societal and structural differences between both groups. The staff officer is largely much younger than line officer. As effect in staff-line meetings. good established line directors frequently non accept or treated with amusement the instructions or advise from staff members. The consequence was disenchanting to staff members. Beside the age different is the instruction degree. The staff had a higher instruction with a mean of 13. 1 school old ages. while the line merely had between 10. 5 to 14. 6 old ages in the highest line group. This was besides seeable in different use of English in speech production and authorship or frock of staff members. The consequence was a feeling of high quality among staff officers. “while the sentiment of line officers towards staff forces was reflected in name-calling. ”

Sum uping. there was a raising barrier in instruction and behavior between staff members and most line officers.

Different Point of View on Staff Personnel

A ground for complications in staff-line communicating and work is the different position in staff forces of both sides. The staff member sees himself as a managerial adviser and expert who is committed to the top direction and who has to lend something important to assist the direction.

This behavior or thought of staff members leads to an attitude of superciliousness against lower line officers. The consequence is that line officers dislike the attitude and have more and more het treatment with staff members. The staff members involve themselves in problem by describing their failures to the direction as ignorance of the line director.

The line directors have a different position on staff directors. They do non like the counsel of a fledgling and the control by the direction which they interlink with staff officers. Staff forces are in their eyes manipulative devices.

Execution of betterments or new programs

A major job between both organisations is the execution of new techniques or programs from staff officers. These programs are received by the line but non implemented in the production. A ground for that is the credence of programs from latter line officers. The staff proposal is verbally accepted down the line but a latter line officer is in private opposing against the alterations. He says nil. because he fears informal injuries. During the execution of the new program he works severely with the hope to return to former agreements. In effect staff officers withhold improved production strategies or programs because they knew that the debut might neglect.

Describe the jobs?

High Turnover and Young Staff Officers

Another job within staff forces is the comparatively high turnover as a consequence of “dissatisfaction and defeat of members” . The ground for the dissatisfaction is the inability to accomplish position and differentiation. As effect of the high turnover many new staff officers are needed. The most of them come straight from university with outstanding academic records. And they believe that they “had much to lend and that their attempts would win early acknowledgment and rapid advancement” . With this the circle of jobs is closed. The new staff officer had to see that:

*”his freedom to map was snared in a web of informal commitments” .

*”his academic forte ( … ) was frequently non relevant…” and that

*”the of import thing to make was to larn who the informally powerful line officers were and what thoughts they would welcome which at the same clip would be acceptable to his higher-ups. ”

The reaction of the new staff officer was to protect himself by happening a niche where he can develop a “reliable societal relation that will help his personal development” . But this reaction besides destroys the creativeness and part of the staff officer.

Promotion and Recognition

The staff individual is in general younger. more ambitious and restless than the line forces. The concern to win rapid publicity and single acknowledgment is really of import for the staff. This leads to jobs in staff groups because everybody tries to go forth behind the right feelings.

Line officers dislike staff forces but their blessing is needed for the publicity of staff members. To accomplish this both organisational groups try to digest minor jobs or work together on critical issues. In some instances for illustration line members hide errors of lower staff officers from upper line and staff officers.

Fear of invention

Line officers fear staff inventions for several grounds. If a line officer is making his occupation for a long clip he fears that a staff officer can better his work and his higher-up would see that he has non thought of the procedure polish for himself. Others fear that alterations may besides convey forces alterations which would break-up coteries and bing informal agreements. Finally these alterations can demo inefficiency or out practises.

Fundss. Sabotage and Cooperation

Staff could utilize financess granted by the top direction for research and experimentation. Because of sabotage staff needs more money than usually necessary. Some staff groups are forced to “kick over” parts of financess to the line organisation. to cut down sabotage and increase cooperation. This via media which was hidden to the top direction allows staff groups to collaborate better with the line organisation. The advantages for staff groups were on the one side lower force per unit area from top direction because of betterments and “impressively low runing costs” in the line. On the other side are recommendations from the line which besides make a transportation to the line possible.


There are several struggles between line and staff officers which are a effect of societal. structural and functional differences. Beside this the line officers frights alterations in work environment and the control of top direction. The authorization and publicity issue is the last portion of the struggle.


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