DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LINE ORGANIZATION AND LINE & STAFF ORGANIZATION

Line organization is an organizational structure where authority flows vertically from top management to lower management.

A Line organization is sometimes called a military organization.

On the other hand, a line and staff organization is an organisational structure where authority flows vertically from top management to lower management and specialist are attached to line authority to provide advisory services to the line authority.

Differences between line organization and line and staff organization 

1. Staff authority is absent in line organization although it is present in line and staff organization.

2. A line organization is very economical to operate whereas a line and staff organization is very expensive to operate due to the presence of staff authority.

3. Line organization is very suitable for small businesses while line and staff authority may be unsuitable for small businesses with limited resources.

4. Due to the lack of staff authority, the authority in line organization is highly centralized.

In contrast, the authority in line organization is centralized and shared with staff authority

5. While line organization is a simple structure with a vertical flow of authority, line and staff organization is a more complex structure with authority shared between line and staff managers.

6. In a line organization, the line authority is involved in making recommendations and decisions, whereas in a line and staff organization, the staff authority makes recommendations and the line authority makes decisions.

7. In a line and staff organization, there is the possibility of conflict between line and staff authority, whereas, in a line and staff organization, there is no such possibility because staff authority does not exist.

8. Discipline is very strict in line organisation due to the presence of only one authority.

This is as opposed to a line and staff organization, where discipline may be loosed.

READ ALSO: ORGANIZATIONAL CHART: MEANING, ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES

Tabular Comparisons of Line organization and line & staff organisation 

Organization/featuresLine organizationLine and staff organization
Presence of line authorityYesYes
Presence of staff authorityNoYes
CostEconomicalExpensive
Suitable forSmall organizationsLarge organisations
Expert advice AbsencePresent
Possibility of misunderstanding NoYes
The extent of discipline Very strictLoosed
Unity of command PresentPresent, but not as much as line organization
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