line and staff management



A military-type organizational structure, commonly employed in large, centralized corporations.

Line and staff management has two separate hierarchies: (1) the line hierarchy in which the departments are revenue generators (manufacturing, selling), and their managers are responsible for achieving the organization's main objectives by executing the key functions (such as policy making, target setting, decision making); (2) the staff hierarchy, in which the departments are revenue consumers, and their managers are responsible for activities that support line functions (such as accounting, maintenance, personnel management).

While both hierarchies have their own chains of command, a line manager may have direct control over staff employees but a staff manager may have no such power over the line employees. In modern practice, however, the difference in the two hierarchies is not so clear-cut and jobs often have elements of the both types of functions.

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