Line organization is the most oldest and simplest method of administrative organization. According to this type of organization, the authority flows from top to bottom in a concern. The line of command is carried out from top to bottom. This is the reason for calling this organization as scalar organization which means scalar chain of command is a part and parcel of this type of administrative organization. In this type of organization, the line of command flows on an even basis without any gaps in communication and co-ordination taking place.
Features of Line Organization
- It is the most simplest form of organization.
- Line of authority flows from top to bottom.
- Specialized and supportive services do not take place in these organization.
- Unified control by the line officers can be maintained since they can independently take decisions in their areas and spheres.
- This kind of organization always helps in bringing efficiency in communication and bringing stability to a concern.
Merits of Line Organization
- Simplest- It is the most simple and oldest method of administration.
- Unity of Command- In these organizations, superior-subordinate relationship is maintained and scalar chain of command flows from top to bottom.
- Better discipline- The control is unified and concentrates on one person and therefore, he can independently make decisions of his own. Unified control ensures better discipline.
- Fixed responsibility- In this type of organization, every line executive has got fixed authority, power and fixed responsibility attached to every authority.
- Flexibility- There is a co-ordination between the top most authority and bottom line authority. Since the authority relationships are clear, line officials are independent and can flexibly take the decision. This flexibility gives satisfaction of line executives.
- Prompt decision- Due to the factors of fixed responsibility and unity of command, the officials can take prompt decision.
Demerits of Line Organization
- Over reliance- The line executives decisions are implemented to the bottom. This results in over-relying on the line officials.
- Lack of specialization- A line organization flows in a scalar chain from top to bottom and there is no scope for specialized functions. For example, expert advices whatever decisions are taken by line managers are implemented in the same way.
- Inadequate communication- The policies and strategies which are framed by the top authority are carried out in the same way. This leaves no scope for communication from the other end. The complaints and suggestions of lower authority are not communicated back to the top authority. So there is one way communication.
- Lack of Co-ordination- Whatever decisions are taken by the line officials, in certain situations wrong decisions, are carried down and implemented in the same way. Therefore, the degree of effective co-ordination is less.
- Authority leadership- The line officials have tendency to misuse their authority positions. This leads to autocratic leadership and monopoly in the concern.