Research Article
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Research Article
Mindset of employees working in a matrix organizational structure
expand article infoEglė Lukinaitė, Jolanta Sondaitė
‡ Mykolas Romeris University, Vilnius, Lithuania
Open Access

Abstract

Organizations wishing to be successful and control their complexity will probably have to develop matrix mindset. The main goal of this research is to reveal the mindset of employees working in a matrix organizational structure. The data were collected through focus groups. A thematic analysis was employed to achieve the goal. The results revealed that employees working in a matrix organizational structure perceive their influence through cooperation, discussion and personal efficiency. Employees not working in a matrix organizational structure emphasize the manager’s influence and formal power instead of their own personal power.

Keywords

matrix organizational structure, attitude, skills, mindset, focus groups, thematic analysis

JEL Classification

M12

Introduction

Seeking to respond to the requirements of the contemporary society, the majority of large international corporations all over the world are either already applying or currently seeking to implement a matrix organizational structure. A matrix is an organizational structure that shares the power among more than one dimension (Horney and O’Shea 2009). A matrix organization is characterized as an organization having several managers, competing goals, influence without authority and accountability without control (Hall 2013). The matrix encourages innovation and fast action, and speeds the dissemination of information to those who know how to use it. However, the matrix violates the traditional principles of authority tending to evoke ambiguity and conflict (Sy et al. 2005). This model of organizational management causes a lot of ambiguity and changes in practice, it requires different treatment, attitudes and competences (Wellman 2007). Organizations wishing to be successful and to control their complexity have to turn to developing certain skills and properties. The totality of these properties is called a matrix mindset (Hall 2013). A set of certain properties like flexibility, personal leadership, ability to tolerate ambiguity, etc. allows one to be a successful employee and/or a manager in a matrix organization (Hall 2013, Wellman 2007).

The organization in which the research was carried out applies matrix organizational structure in certain divisions and gradually implements it in other parts of the organization to achieve a greater operational efficiency. To facilitate work and adaptation in the matrix, a need arose to find out which attitudes and skills (mindset) are characteristic of the employees of this organization.

Therefore, the aim of this research is to disclose and analyze the mindset of the employees working in a matrix organizational structure.

1. Literature review

Summarising the peculiarities of a matrix organization specified in literature (Galbraith 1995, Hall 2013, Mintzberg 1993, Ryynänen and Salminen 2014, Wellman 2007), it may be stated that every matrix organizational structure is distinguished by:

‒ Employees (as well as managers) have several managers;

‒ It is often necessary to work with competing goals (in terms of time, resources, requirements);

‒ Managers have to be able to influence without having the formal power in the organization;

‒ Frequent accountability and responsibility without a possibility of direct control;

‒ A high level of ambiguity;

‒ The role of managers is constantly changing hence it is crucial to continually reflect what is the role a manager in certain situations;

‒ The matrix requires a very important ability to consciously develop one’s social network inside the organization;

‒ A matrix organization requires different skills of leadership conditioned by the peculiarities of a matrix structure. A strong emphasis is on the ability to efficiently cooperate and a high level of personal efficiency.

The matrix organizing seeks to capture the efficiency and specialization as well as customer focus and flexibility. The cost of simultaneous efficiency and flexibility is high internal complexity (Snow 2015).

Some studies disclose negative effects of a matrix structure implementation in organizations, challenges related to matrix structure implementation. It was predicted, that the implementation of a matrix structure would cause increases in the amount of communication, but in reality it decreased the quality of communication, produced negative effects on the perception of the relevant role and attitude towards work (Joyce 1986). A major difficulty in managing matrix organizations is the potential for role conflict and ambiguity experienced by subordinates reporting to two managers, conflict over resource allocation, project needs, and technical versus business considerations that may reflect relationships between the two types of managers (Dunn 2001). One of the challenges for managers working within a matrix structure is to differentiate their roles in relation to the so-called shared subordinates and manage their relationships accordingly (Herold and Fields 2004). The research revealed the top five contemporary challenges of matrix organizations: misaligned goals, unclear roles and responsibilities, ambiguous authority, lack of a matrix guardian, silo-focused employees (Sy et al. 2005). The results of the survey indicated that the matrix organization surveyed was not perceived as the most effective organizational structure in terms of supporting its ability to compete. Although respondents felt that their products to clients were competitive, there were fewer tendencies to agree that the structure supported competitiveness (Cackowski et al. 2000). Galbraith (2009) maintains that when the matrix structure became popular in the 1970’s and early 1980’s, by many organizations it was misapplied, inconsiderately and hastily implemented, also realized in a wrong way; this released a surge of information contrary to matrix popularity, stating that the matrix does not work.

Other authors tend to turn more to the mindset necessary for a matrix structure. The research findings asserted that five critical behaviour constructs, that is Empowerment (Accountability, Trust, Allow Mistakes), Support (Open Relationship, Active Listening, Access), Decision making (Active Listening, Decisiveness), Flexibility/Balance (Tools, Processes), were instrumental in matrix organizational performance and were strongly influenced by senior leadership behaviour (Wellman 2007). According to Horney, O’Shea (2009), the values can serve to facilitate the move to matrix organization. Working cross-functionally means that previously disjoint groups must listen to each other to accomplish common work (Collaboration), in doing so respect is demonstrated for the views of others and their perspectives (Respect for People). Pushing decision making to the lowest possible level reflects the nature of Leadership Empowerment. When everyone communicates openly and honestly to come to workable and effective agreements, this demonstrates a value of Integrity (Horney and O’Shea 2009). Mitchel (2014) distinguished five areas of skill expertise that is important in demonstrating the capacity to be effective in a matrix leadership role: learning from others, communicating through technology, engaging and listening to others, empowering others, connectedness to the broader business. Hall (2013) claims that there is a certain set of properties, skills and attitudes (matrix mindset), which differs a lot from what is peculiar to usual and stable organizational environments, where leaders know all the answers, whereas causes and effects are clear. The key matrix mindset elements are the following ones:

‒ Self – leadership. It manifests through accepting control and responsibility for one’s role, skills and goals.

‒ Breadth. An ability to view things from the local as well as from the global perspective; responsibility and involvement which is not limited by usual boundaries and procedures. It manifests through thinking and acting outside of one’s role and functions.

‒ Being comfortable with ambiguity. Frequent changes and absence of absolute control. It manifests together with confidence and an ability to defy this ambiguity, to work in uncertainty, flexibly and confidently.

‒ Being adaptive. Being flexible and open to new ideas, working methods, learning and new methods of operation, other cultures.

‒ Being influential. An ability to achieve results and influence without having a formal role or power, but through creating and establishing relations based on cooperation.

A certain set of attitudes and skills, in literature referred to as mindset is crucial to effectively and productively work in a matrix organizational structure. There is a lack of study of the mindset of both the employees working and not working in a matrix organizational structure. The organization in which the research was carried out applies matrix organizational structure for managing certain general functions and gradually implements it in other parts of the organization so as to achieve greater operational efficiency. In order to facilitate the work and adaptation in the matrix and to be able to manage difficulties, there arose a need to understand the reality of organization, to analyze what attitudes and skills (mindset) are characteristic of the employees of this organization as well as to compare the results obtained with literature and foreign practice on the topic of the matrix. In the organization where the research was carried out, a matrix analysis is a rather new phenomenon – the design of research was directed towards overviewing the phenomenon as broadly as possible, analyzing data in the inductive way and distinguishing the main trends of attitudes and their content.

The aim of the research is to disclose and analyze the mindset of employees working in a matrix organizational structure.

In order to achieve the aim of the research and understand the context, the value of this mindset as well as to analyze it objectively, not only employees working in a matrix organizational structure, but also a group of employees not working in a matrix organizational structure were chosen as the subject of the research.

This method of analysis raises the following questions of the research:

– What attitudes towards work are typical of employees working in a matrix organizational structure?

– What attitudes towards work are typical of employees not working in a matrix organizational structure?

– What is the content of this mindset as well as its peculiarities?

2. Method

2.1. Methods of data collection

For a qualitative research, in order to collect the data about employees’ mindset, a group discussion – a focus group method was selected.

Freeman (2006) maintains that for the selection of research design epistemological premises on the issue of research are of crucial importance. The choice of method was determined by observing the essentialist premise for disclosure of the topic itself (each person has his/her formed personal beliefs, ideas, attitude, opinion and understanding. The aim of the researcher is to recognize, disclose, perceive and emphasize this understanding) as well as advantages provided by it in comparison to other methods of data collection. Such a method is brilliantly suited for researching such a new and little investigated topic as participants’ interactions and discussions condition emergence of new approaches during the discussion, and this is very suitable for an inductive analysis of participants’ mindset and answering the questions of this research: what are the attitudes towards work, what are their main trends, what is the content inherent in them – in terms of both attitude and skills.

The research took place in Vilnius, in the premises of the organization headquarters.

The course of the discussion. The discussion was organized according to a prearranged scenario, analogue to both groups. The scenario was prepared drawing on the theory and aiming to understand the participants’ attitude towards work through 3 main perspectives:

1. Personal attitude and problem solving. The aim of the task is to reveal what attitudes and approach the employees have towards the aspects and skills important to working in the matrix. Here participants were presented with five situations, solutions to which had to be found in the discussion by expressing their personal view how they could solve those situations. The participants were also asked what skills are required in solving these problems;

2. Management. The aim is to reveal what aspects of leadership and management are perceived as important, how management and management culture in the organization are valued in general, what defines a good manager and what managers usually lack, what expectations the employees have;

3. Organizational culture. The aim was to reveal the perception of the organizational culture, the attitude towards what are the positive (supportive) and what are negative cultural elements and their judgement.

The scenario of the focus groups was prepared by the research authors. In order to achieve greater research validity, the scenario was discussed in the expert group (the co-workers of the staff department, working with research in the organization and the head of the staff department); later it was adjusted with regard to the comments from the expert group.

The course of the discussion was arranged according to the scenario, at the beginning by allotting some time to present the course, to remind about the topic and collect the consents to take part in the research. The discussions on the issues of the research lasted from 90 minutes – in the case of employees not working in the matrix organizational structure, to 110 minutes – in the case of employees working in matrix structure.

The discussion was recorded. The employees’ nonverbal language and nonverbal processes were observed and recorded by one of the expert group members.

The discussion was conducted by two moderators – a leading one and an assisting one, who interfered in case of uncertainty or in order to specify a question or an answer, who also watched the time, wrote the participants’ responses on the board, etc. To aid the participants, they were given a worksheet where they could follow the course of the discussion, read the situations, note down the skills or management aspects. Later on, these worksheets were collected without identifying the participants that filled them. As in the focus groups the participants were encouraged to talk, discuss and express their ideas, additional significant information was not found in the worksheets.

2.2. Participants of the research

The participants of the focus group were selected by applying a mixed criterion-based selection, combining different ways of scope making; they had to match the following criteria:

1. Worked in a matrix structure in the organization where research was carried out for 4 years or longer (focus group 1);

2. Have not worked before in a matrix structure in the organization where research was carried out (focus group 2);

3. To work in the organization researched for at least 2 years (both focus groups. This criterion was selected in order to eliminate the variable of the adaptation period which could influence the participants’ responses);

4. An ability to clearly express one’s thoughts verbally (both focus groups);

5. Wish, goodwill and readiness to openly discuss the topic of the research, revealing one’s attitude (both focus groups).

First, a criterion-based selection was conducted: according to the list of employees, a target scope of employees was made with regard to what structure they work in (in order to meet requirements 1 and 2 above), later newcomers were eliminated as well as those on maternity leave or those who came back less than two years ago (in order to meet the requirements of point 3). In order to meet points 4 and 5, the list of participants obtained was overviewed and discussed in the expert group (employees of staff department and the department manager, who for many years have been working in the organization and know the employees well). Our objective was also to ensure that the research includes a similar number of men and women, also representatives of various departments/divisions and positions. So the expert group decided which participants should be included into the research – in this way, a target scope was made.

Participants were individually invited to take part in the research by phoning them and presenting the research topic and the aim. They were also informed that the data discussed would be recorded and subsequently used for the analysis, and their responses would be quoted. Due to a heavy workload, business trips or pre-planned vacation, a certain part of participants refused to take part in the discussion, but they were being invited until the necessary number of participants was gathered for the first and the second group. A pre-planned number was 16 participants (8 in each group), but one of the participants at the last moment got sick and did not take part in the discussion (see Table 1).

Key characteristics of the participants

Focus group Participant’s code Gender Age Position
1 A M 32 Service manager
1 Gi F 31 Field manager
1 E M 45 Business architect
1 Vv F 29 Senior project manager
1 J M 29 Business process analyst
1 V F 34 Project manager
1 Gs M 29 Software specialist
2 O F 30 Lawyer
2 Au M 31 Business clients manager
2 Mi M 34 Factoring manager
2 J F 37 Quality manager
2 T M 29 Project manager
2 Ma M 39 Project manager
2 Mo F 30 Project manager
2 R F 33 Assistant

2.3. Data analysis

In order to analyze the data obtained during the discussions a method of thematic analysis was selected.

Thematic analysis gives a possibility respectively to the aim of the research to emphasize key things, themes, rising in a semantic way (words that are expressed verbally), in a latent way (hidden meanings, deeper content) or in a mixed way (Braun and Clarke 2006). The analysis of the research data was carried out separately for each focus group’s data. All the analysis was based on analogous steps, which are comprehensively described by Braun, Clarke (2006).

3. Results and discussion

As the employees were working in the matrix organizational structure, they came up with an approach to work, a theme of Matrix perception. The employees not working in a matrix structure did not come up with this approach and it shows that consciousness and perception of one’s environment is characteristic of matrix employees. In their view, working in the matrix particularly manifests through a number of managers, complexity of activities, many involved areas or parties. It coincides with the elements of working in matrix indicated by other authors (Hall 2013, Wellman 2007). Employees working in the matrix organizational structure have a positive attitude to working in the matrix, it is efficient and beneficial for the working model of the organization. The participants’ responses reflect that despite the difficulties caused by such a format of work, they care about the organization’s goals and understand the benefits of this work, which in turn forms their positive attitude and confidence. It is of crucial importance, according to Mitchell (2014) – the new generation or matrix managers have to be able to comprehend the change caused by matrix organizational structure, to see a more global, broader picture through the perspective of “one enterprise”. The attitude that work has to be based on clarity, concreteness and distribution of responsibilities indicates their logical understanding of how to manage matrix complexity and emerging conflicts. In this subtheme, a link can be seen to the same subtheme of the theme Working methods and behaviour, which shows a link that the perception of work in the matrix in the employees working in a matrix structure and their attitude to working in the organization coincide. As the main drawbacks of working in the matrix, Hall (2013) distinguishes undefined roles and a lack of clear accountability, hence such an attitude of matrix employees demonstrates their skills to perceive and solve problems emerging in the matrix and to handle those drawbacks.

Another theme that arose Everyday life and reality reveals employees’ working in matrix organizational structure approach towards their personal reality of work. It is characterized by the complexity of activities, many people involved, constant ambiguity and changes, also their negative influence, competing interests and requirements. Literature confirms that our research into employees’ working in a matrix organizational structure approach towards the reality coincides with Wellman (2007) and Hall’s (2013) definitions of matrix. Wellman (2007) maintains that various tasks and different projects intertwine and clash in the matrix; Hall (2013) remarks that a matrix organization is characterized by several managers, competing goals, influence without formal power and responsibility without control.

Flexibility and a soft reaction towards changes, in employees’ opinion, is an important skill and this reflects their positive approach to their stance on changes and reveals an attitude mentioned in literature by Horney and O’Shea (2009) from the perspective of organizational culture that organizations with openness and changes rooted in their traditions are more suitable for a matrix structure, as well as Hall’s (2013) elements of matrix mindset – an ability to tolerate ambiguity and an ability to adapt.

The approach of employees working in a matrix organizational structure to everyday life and reality is in a way related, but does not overlap with another theme of Working methods and behaviour, which reflects employees’ attitude to how they work in that reality. Their approach to work is structured and organized, distinguished by working processes and working principles. In terms of processes, we see that employees understand well the structure of operation of an organization as a large mechanism – in their view, there are processes which govern decisions and priorities and there are field experts. Here one does not find a perception of traditional power and hierarchy as a source of influence and this backs Mitchell’s (2014) point of view that an old-fashioned, order and control-based hierarchy is clearly disappearing in contemporary business world. Field expertise reflects what is noted as one of the most important matrix skills – empowerment: the main principle to act fast in a global environment means to ensure competence and power in points where problems arise (Mitchell 2014). De-emphasizing traditional hierarchy and power, but an ability to perceive behaviour from the organizational perspective demonstrates a broader view, too. Also understanding of processes is important because, according to Galbraith (2009), processes determine information flow in an organization. Working principles reflect employees’ approach to what their work is based on. The before-mentioned idea that work has to be based on clarity, concreteness and distribution of responsibilities indicates that employees strive for clarity in the undefined environment, for instance, when something is not clear, one has to ask and find out, which also includes activity, initiative and courage as well as certain work rules agreed upon and room for openness. This is reflected in Hall’s (2013) definition of personal leadership as it is solved by way of discussion, and shows employees’ attitude to decision making, communication and cooperation. It is similar to a matrix advantage indicated by Hall (2013) who states that the distance among different parts of organization is reduced, cooperation and communication is improved (Hall 2013). Wellman (2007) also states that in a matrix organization employees and teams directly cooperate and integrate in working activities.

As a clear element of approach towards the methods of work and behaviour, a standpoint I am responsible has become evident. This standpoint comprises employees’ perception and taking personal responsibility, also the attitude I myself estimate and decide. This point of view perfectly illustrates Hall’s (2013) personal leadership and an ability to influence without formal power. Here also employees’ attitude to important skills is revealed. Proactive communication, communicative skills; analytical, judgement skills; expectation control, agreement on interests; flexibility, openness, tolerating differences; skills of arguing and negotiation; organizational and planning skills; perception of the general picture. All these skills are closely linked to employees’ attitudes and help to implement these attitudes through behaviour as well as supplement them.

The theme Organization reflects participants’ view towards organization – what the relationships and communication are in the organization, its informal structure, namely, disunity inside the organization and aspects of internationalization. Here a lot of attention is paid to relationships: communication and relations are based on the values of an organization and an organizational culture is defined by relationships. Here one can see that a huge importance is given to communication and relationships, in addition to this, people perceive relations as a part of organizational operation and culture. It is not surprising that working in the matrix requires to develop a very wide social network, to expand it beyond the limits of the organization (Hall 2013). The more links with business and visibility people have, along with their ability to create and maintain relationships inside the organization and outside – the broader approach they may have (Mitchell 2014). A broader approach mentioned by Mitchell is reflected in their attitude to relationships as defining the aspect of organizational culture. Relationships here are conceived not necessarily on I – the I level, they can also comprise fields of I – Business. This suggests employees’ broad vision and perception of the self as a big part of business. Reflection of an organization’s values in cooperation and relationships, also an approach that this defines culture is an example of importance of cooperation by Galbraith (2009). The behaviour based on an organization’s values helps to match what is necessary to happen in the matrix (Horney and O’Shea 2009). Participants’ attitude is also illustrated by matrix values mentioned by Horney and O’Shea (2009) – cooperation, respect to people, integrity. Internationalization illustrates employees’ approach towards international work, which comprises several countries and this influences their thinking and behaviour. As a positive matrix feature, Hall (2013) distinguishes the fact that employees’ competence is growing. Internationalization is a typical aspect of working in the matrix: Hall (2013) claims that in a matrix organization one constantly works with colleagues from different countries, business departments and cultures in multifunctional and virtual teams (Hall 2013). An attitude that disunity inside the organization exists reveals a drawback of matrix organization management. Sy et al. (2005), Hall (2013) state that one of the challenges is incompatible goals, looking at which on the scale of organization they may compete inside the organization itself.

A tree of themes of employees not working in a matrix organizational structure is a bit different. Employees’ attitude towards work does not reveal their approach to the matrix, and this is natural – their working environment and reality are different. In this group, approach to communication is distinguished as a separate theme. Here communication is more perceived in the I – You perspective, there is no I – Business field or similar terms in participants’ responses, the aspect of relationships in the organization is non-existent, which would reveal importance and perception of communication and relationships on the organizational level, contrary to the first group. Communication is an important part of their approach to work, they pay attention to it, but on a slightly different level. Communication based on the organization’s values is important as it shows the importance of values of the organization itself and its reflection in various parts of organization, irrespective of the existing management structure, matrix or hierarchy. Participants’ approach to communication also reflects that there exist negative things, contradicting an organization’s values – managers’ distrust and colleagues’ reticence. This can be mentioned as a field that needs improvement as well as directing recommendations and means towards building confidence and open communication.

Approach towards working methods – how we work reveals employees’ attitude that in their work rules and bureaucracy exist. It is typical of traditional hierarchical organizational structures (Hall 2013, Mitchell 2014) and it is not their strength. Employees also see the negative aspect of bureaucracy by expressing their opinion that a long process of agreement is a hindrance. Rules and bureaucracy in a way are related to the topic of communication: formal rules and communication are related. In the participants’ point of view, rules describe and shape the way of communicating among them, with clients and with business partners, but also communication influences the forming of the rules themselves. The manager influences how much those rules manifest in behaviour and communication – here the approach to management, order and power becomes evident, which is revealed in the definition of “a matrix victim” by Hall (2013) and reflects a poor development of an ability to influence. Work based on cooperation and shared responsibility reveals a positive approach to cooperation, as in the case of the first group. Here participants distinguish quite a number of skills necessary and helpful for cooperation – communication comprises socialization, relations, finding contacts, flexibility comprises an ability to change one’s attitude and behaviour, to accept another opinion, ideas, to be open, an ability to look more widely on the scale of an organization comprises a wider approach, to put the organization’s goals first. Here employees demonstrate their attitude to competences necessary for working in the matrix (Hall 2013, Mitchell 2014, Galbraith 2009), hence it can be presumed that cooperation in general requires similar skills and attitudes both in the matrix and outside it, the difference lying in its complexity. Personal contribution and disposition – here employees’ attitudes differ. One clear trend is I take responsibility and it indicates an existence of a matrix mindset (Hall 2013), whereas the opposite trend I avoid responsibility and give priority to direct orders is related to the next subtopic expectations towards a manager, which comprises work distribution and delegation. The second trend reveals a poor development of a matrix mindset and is linked with directness and clarity typical of hierarchical organizations, which is absolutely uncharacteristic of a matrix organizational structure (Hall 2013).

Information is an important theme to employees not working in a matrix organizational structure. In their opinion, information makes influence, hence argumentation and presentation of information is crucial; since it is linked to an attitude towards working methods, they think that work is based on working with information and knowledge, hence, in their view, skills of information management are important, and it is important to have information for oneself and for others. Such an attitude towards the importance of information can be interpreted by clearly defined responsibilities typical of hierarchical structure, therefore expertise in one’s field becomes a value, a special attention is paid to building one’s knowledge, collecting information and working with it. When working in the matrix, experts of the field are usually involved in making decisions, for example, those in charge of the implementation of a part of the project. Mitchell (2014) refers to this kind of behaviour as involvement and listening to others – matrix leaders often have to include resources and individuals on whom they have no direct control function, also to influence them to do the work they themselves know little about. In case of working in a non-matrix structure, there is less project and team work, hence information becomes a valuable working tool and means of influence.

Influence, decision making and power – this theme reveals several main attitudes of employees not working in a matrix organizational structure towards sources of influence: influence made by managers, influence made by formal power, influence made by people. Power and managers as sources of influence reveal a very traditional thinking typical of hierarchical organizational structure that influence is made by formal means. According to Wellman (2007), matrix defies traditional power and control. An attitude that influence is made by people and influence on organization and culture is made by people is an indication of a matrix mindset (Hall 2013), personal leadership, although traditional formal power and approach to it still prevails.

The theme Organization reveals an attitude to organization and its peculiar estimation. Here freedom of action is valued, as well as open communication and confidence, which once again reflects manifestation of the organization’s values and their acceptance together with a positive attitude. It is important to be proud of your enterprise shows an attitude that employees care about the organization’s activity and its estimation in the society, also its subjective judgement and pride. This can be interpreted as a positive aspect in a local job market – in case of less international work, people identify with the image of the enterprise also outside the organization, which is important in creating and supporting it as well as being “ambassadors” of the enterprise. Yet it may be noticed that the attitude towards an organization better reveals one’s personal attitude and feeling, but it does not demonstrate a wider picture or perception of organizational processes, compared to the attitude to organization of employees working in a matrix organizational structure.

The results of the present study contribute to the better understanding of the differences of the mindset of employees working and not working in a matrix organizational structure.

Conclusions

Upon completion of an analysis of the data on employees working in a matrix organizational structure and not working in a matrix organizational structure, it can be stated that the attitude towards work is quite diverse.

Employees working in a matrix organizational structure demonstrate an attitude to an organization as a whole of various processes, they have a wide approach and are able to think globally. They perceive their influence through cooperation, discussion and personal efficiency, activity – through processes and working principles, they have a mindset and pay attention to skills necessary to cope with difficulties and challenges faced when working in the matrix. An organization and its culture are perceived as a totality of relations, while relations and communication are based on the values of the organization. Such attitudes are typical of a proper matrix mindset as well as success criteria described in literature.

Attitudes of employees not working in a matrix organizational structure reveal a somewhat narrower approach to the activities of an organization, but they consider communication and reflection of the values of an organization also very important. In their opinion, it is crucial that work is based on cooperation, that freedom and confidence are valued in the organization. They have a more traditional approach to sources of influence and power, they emphasize the leader’s influence and formal power, pay less attention and belief in personal power. They do not always take the responsibility and expect directness from managers. In their point of view, information is very important both for doing the job and as a source of influence, they pay attention to the development of skills related to information. In the mindset of this group, attitudes and skills crucial for working in the matrix manifest through their attitude towards communication, cooperation and behaviour based on the values of an organization.

The present study looks into the employees working in one organization. Further research should involve employees working in several organizations and find out what attitudes towards work are typical of managers working in a matrix organizational structure.

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