What Is a Line-and-Staff Organization Chart?

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According to Wizz Notes, a line-and-staff organizational chart combines the traits of line and functional charts with the addition of staff personnel. Authority flows downward from the top, but departments are separated according to function. Staff personnel assist the line workers at the bottom, but they do not have any type of authority over those workers.

According to the Encyclopedia of Business, line-and staff organizations are distinguished by their multiple layers of management. This type of organizational structure can most often found in medium and larger-sized companies.

One of the advantages of a line-and-staff organization is that technical experts are more readily available. Staff personnel with expertise in specific areas are added to the chain of command. The Houston Chronicle relates that line-and-staff organizations allow lower staff managers to make many decisions without having to wait for approval for those higher up the line. Another advantage is the autonomy given to many of the organization's line workers. While they do not have much authority, they are also left relatively alone to do their jobs.

The Encyclopedia of Business cautions that one disadvantage of a line-and-staff organization is the conflict that can arise between the line workers and the staff personnel.