The basic principles of organizational design revolve around two questions: (a) How to divide the total task of the organization. (b) How to co-ordinate the execution of the sub-tasks. These questions as they apply to shipboard organization have aroused considerable attention in recent years. This paper discusses the conventional shipboard organization in terms of the two questions, i.e. the departmentalized division of tasks, and the task co-ordination within a hierarchical rank system. It elaborates on two further issues: the "Top Four Problem" dealing with the peculiar problems of co-ordination at the top levels of the shipboard organization; and a further section elaborating on some of the difficulties posed for the career structure of the ships' officer. Suggested solutions put forward by various approaches to the redesign of the organization, seem to converge upon a multiple-skill type of organization, commonly referred to as a matrix. This matrix consists of an array of tasks on one axis, and and array of skills on the other. This type of matrix is essentially a multiple-skill role structure, with the objective of increasing the versatility of individuals in order to cope with fluctuating work-loads. This paper describes the essential characteristics of the matrix concept. It then draws out some of the implications for organizational performance and for the job and career of the seafarer. Finally, it indicates some of the issues raised by the matrix concept for shore-based organizations concerned with shipping.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Taylor & Francis

    4 Park Square, Milton Park
    Abingdon,   United Kingdom  OX14 4RN
  • Authors:
    • SMITH, M H
    • Roggema, J
  • Publication Date: 1980-10

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00330944
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 21 1981 12:00AM