Demerits of the Line Organisation – Essay

(b) There is concentration of authority at the top. If the top executives are not capable, the enterprise will not be successful. Moreover, the key executives are overburdened with the administrative work.

(c) Executives in a line organisation are required by having knowledge of diverse functions. Capable executives are difficult to recruit and train.

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(d) There is practically no communication from bottom upwards because of concentration of authority at the higher levels and autocratic attitude of the top executives.

(e) The success and survival of the enterprise depends upon a few individuals. There is a little scope for expansion of business beyond their capabilities. Loss of key executives may result in the complete ruin of the firm. There is little scope for training or development of persons who may replace the line executives, when necessary.

The line organisation has been found to be quite suitable for small enterprises where there is a small number of employees. In such undertakings, it is possible for the owner or manager to give orders directly to the workers while the workers are directly responsible to the manager or the owner. Even in larger organisations, it has sometimes worked well.

Due to the complexity of modern business, line organisation has been modified by the introduction of staff specialist for providing expert advice on important matters. Staff refers to those elements of the organisation which provide advice and service to the line.

In line and staff organisation, the line serves to maintain unity of command and discipline whereas the staff provides expert knowledge and advice in the solution of managerial problems. Line executives are responsible for the execution of work and supervision of employees. Staff is auxiliary to line.

It provides advice and information and assistance to line executives to enable them to work more efficiently. Production, marketing and finance are line departments in a manufacturing enterprise while purchasing, personnel and accounting are staff functions.

Each staff function is under his charge of a staff specialist who has command over subordinates in his own department only. His advice and counsel is not binding on line executive. He cannot directly issue orders to subordinates in the line departments. He has to command his orders in this way.