A hybrid organizational structure: what you need to know

Since each company has to achieve a diverse set of objectives, it employs a different organizational structure that not only helps to accomplish the shared goals but also fosters the growth of its employees.

An organization consists of a group of people that strive to achieve a shared goal.

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Over the past few years, several new organizational modes have come into being. One such model is known as the hybrid organizational structure. However, before delving into the details of an aforementioned structure, it is important to have a thorough understanding of the other types of hierarchies that may exist across organizations.

The different forms:

In the 21st century, the modes of the organizational structure have developed a new meaning altogether. Gone are the days when companies used to follow a traditional working structure. Now, several different types of structures have taken the corporate world by a storm, each one working with a varied set of principles. The few organizational structures prevalent across the corporate world are listed as follows:

  • Functional Structure:  A basic organizational structure that serves the purpose of grouping employees into the same department on the basis of their similar skills, tasks and activities. This structure is likely to be found in an accounting department of a company.
  • Divisional Structure: As the name suggests, this structure aims to divide business processes into product, market, service or consumer group. The core aim of this structure is to create work teams that can create similar products that cater to the needs of individual groups.

The real deal:

The structures mentioned above are basic organizational structures that aim to accomplish a certain goal. As established earlier, the hybrid organizational structure is relatively a new concept. The name itself insinuates the existence of a structure that is a mix of two elements. In most cases, a hybrid structure is a fusion of the functional and divisional structure.  A blend of the two structures forms a hybrid structure that works on the principles of collaboration. This means that a hybrid organizational structure allows different divisions to take functional expertise from various groups within the company. Let’s demonstrate this concept with the help of an example:

The real deal

If a cloth manufacturer has to introduce a new product line, it could take the help of other functions such as marketing and research to create a competent product launch team.

Thus, it can be said that the hybrid organizational structure is an amalgamation of the functional and divisional structure. Such a structure promotes greater autonomy, more collaborative work dynamics, and ultimately, greater room for innovation and development.

Why be different?

The question that may arise: why would a company choose a different type of organizational structure when a plethora of structures already exist in the market? The answer is simple. At present, the need to be creative and unique has increased two-fold. A hybrid organizational structure is a perfect answer to this unsatisfied need. The hybrid structure is the perfect blend of two types as it encourages collaboration, interaction, and innovation; all of which are vital components of a distinguished workforce. If you still lack clarity about the benefits of a hybrid organizational structure, read on to be enlightened.

B for Benefits:

The prime advantage of a hybrid organizational structure is the high level of flexibility that it offers. This structure facilitates the employees to reach their real potential by allowing them to work on a set of different projects and exploring what they are best at. For instance, in a traditional organization structure, a marketing officer would only be doing market-related projects. However, in a hybrid structure, the same officer would be able to work on projects related to quality assurance as well.  In such a manner, employees can master the art of working in different fields and explore their creative self.

Another benefit of the said structure is increased employee satisfaction. When employees are given the due credit they deserve, they feel like their skills are being valued. The chance to work on different projects and unleash their creative self gives them the chance to become the best version of themselves. Hence, when employees feel the organization values their skills, they are likely to be more satisfied and more dedicated to their work.

B for Benefits

In addition, a hybrid organizational structure offers an environment where the company’s employees are able to collaborate and produce exceptional results. It fosters a shared vision and nurtures an environment where employees can connect and coordinate with each other to achieve the desired goal.

D for Drawbacks:

A hybrid organizational structure seems the ideal blend of structures. However, it has a certain set of disadvantages. The first drawback is that such a structure may create an aura of chaos within the organization. This is because most employees don’t have a defined job description. A marketing officer may be working for a quality assurance project one week, and a sale project the other. As a result, this leads to a sense of confusion and uncertainty within the organization.

Another disadvantage is that in a hybrid organizational structure, there is a high chance of a conflict of interest between functional and divisional departments. Thus, in such a situation, there might be a power imbalance in the organization as a whole.

Boon or Bane?

A hybrid organizational structure is one that strikes a balance between two integral structures. However, it is difficult to conclude the feasibility of such a structure without prior research on the company and its operations. 

Thus, before making your decision, we advise you to conduct an extensive research on the company you are working in. Only then, you would be able to conclude if this structure deems fit for your organization or not.

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