Line organization structure or military organization

Line organization structure or military organization

A line organization is one in which all managers have direct authority over their respective subordinates, through the chain of command. Authority flows directly from top to bottom through the various managerial positions. Each employee knows exactly who his superior and is and who has authority to issue order shows a line organization. The main features of the line organization are outlines below:

1.       It is a simple type of organization.

2.       Only one form of authority viz, line authority exists in this form of organization. Line authority refers to the direct authority of a manager over his subordinates.

3.       The authority relationships are clearly established.

4.       All managers in a line organization have fully authority to decide things and to act with respect to their respective functions.

5.       In a line organization departments are created for the basic activities each of which is self contained as the related services are also part of the activities of the department head.

6.       Specialized supportive activities are not specifying recognized and distinguished in a line organization.                    


1.       Simplicity

2.       Fixed responsibility

3.       Flexibility

4.       Prompt decision

5.       Unified control

6.       Definition of authority

7.       Fixed channel of promotion,

8.       Effective discipline

9.       Orderly communication


1.       Unitary administration

2.       Overloading

3.       Lack of specialization

4.       Lack of effective communication

5.       Succession problem

6.       Absence of conceptual thinking

7.       Scope of favouritism

8.       Problem of coordination

Suitability: in spite of many drawbacks in the line organization it can be successfully followed-

1.       Where business is carried on at small number of subordinates.

2.       Where methods of operations are straight and simple and the work is largely of routine nature.

3.       Where continuous processes are followed or where the automatic machines are used. 

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