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International Business

Matrix Structures - For Which Firms Are They Appropriate and How Should Decisions Be Made?

Prof Joachim Wolf, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Germany

23rd Jan 2014  12:00 pm - 01:30 pm Room 214/215, Economics and Business Building (H69)


While there has been little academic interest in matrix structures over the past 25 years, managers have clearly been busy changing and improving the way matrix structures function. Thus, it is important that scholars re-gain interest in this organizational form. In the first part of the presentation, I will try to outline for which firms (MNCs) the matrix structure is an appropriate organizational structure. Based on information-processing theory, strategy-structure fits will be presented and empirically tested. The presentation's second part will refer to the common view that firms using a matrix structures have a higher level of conflict than firms using an elementary structure. Based on an empirical study, it will be shown that only some types of matrix structures lead to higher levels of conflict. In the final part of the presentation, I will report on a qualitative research which explores how decision-making is (and should) be conducted in matrix structured firms.


Professor Dr. Joachim Wolf holds the Chair of Organization Theory and Organization Design at the Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Germany. Prior to joining Christian-Albrechts-University, he was a Visiting Professor at the Universities of Constance and Bamberg, Germany, and a Research Fellow and Assistant Professor at the Institute of Business Administration and the Research Center for Export and Technology Management (EXTEC) of the University of Hohenheim, Germany (headed by Professor Dr. Klaus Macharzina). Furthermore, he has been a Visiting Professor at the Fordham University, New York, U.S.A., and the University of Rennes I, France.Professor Wolf has published over 50 scholary articles, most of them dealing with the management and organization of national and multinational firms. His work has appeared in refereed journals such as: Business Research, Die Betriebswirtschaft, German Journal of Psychology, Global Strategy Journal, International Business Review, International Journal of Human Resource Management, Management International Review, Schmalenbach Business Review, Soziale Welt, Strategic Management Journal, Zeitschrift für Betriebswirtschaft, Zeitschrift für betriebswirtschaftliche Forschung, Zeitschrift Führung und Organisation, and Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften.His 15 books include: Internationales Personalmanagement: Kontext - Gestaltung - Erfolg [International Human Resource Management: Context - Design - Performance] (author, Gabler 1994);¿¿ Strategie und Struktur 1955-1995: Ein Kapitel in der Geschichte deutscher nationaler und internationaler Unternehmen [Strategy and Structure 1955-1995: A Chapter in the History of German National and International Firms] (author, Gabler 2000); Der Gestaltansatz in der Management- und Organisationslehre [The Gestalt Approach in Management and Organization Research] (author, Gabler 2000); Organisation, Management, Unternehmensführung: Theorien, Praxisbeispiele und Kritik [Organization, Management, Business Policy: Theories, Practical Examples and Critique] (author, 5th ed. Gabler 2013); Unternehmensführung: Das internationale Managementwissen: Konzepte, Methoden, Praxis [Business Policy and Strategic Management: The International Management Knowledge] (co-author, 8th ed. Gabler 2012); Wissenschaftliches Arbeiten und Lerntechniken [Scholarly Work and Learning Techniques], (co-author, 7th ed. Gabler 2013); Forschungsleistung in der deutschsprachigen Betriebswirtschaftslehre: Konzeption und Befunde einer empirischen Untersuchung [Research Output of the Members of the German-speaking Business Administration Community: Concept and Findings of an Empirical Study] (co-author, Gabler 2006); Methodik der empirischen Forschung [Methods of Empirical Research] (co-editor, 3rd ed. Gabler 2009). Since January 2006, Professor Wolf is one of Management International Review's (MIR's) co-editors-in-chief. Between 1994 and 2005 he served as an assistant editor/associate editor of this journal. Between 2001 and 2003 and between 2010 and 2012 he served as the Managing Director of the Institute of Business Administration of the University of Kiel. From 2008 to 2010 he was the Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Business Administration, Economics, and Social Sciences of this University. Since 2001 he is the Coordinator of the International Student Exchange of the Institute of Business Administration (Erasmus coordinator). Furthermore, he is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the University of Siegen (North-Rhine Westphalia).Born in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1957, he received his Diploma degree in business administration (technically oriented) from the University of Stuttgart (1984) and his Doctorate from the University of Hohenheim (1993), Germany. His Venia Legendi (1999) is also from this university. Professor Wolf's research is focused on strategic management, organization, and human resource management of multinational firms. He has taught in MBA programs in several countries. In November 2010, Professor Wolf received an honorary doctorate from the Université de Rennes 1, France.

12.00pm - 13:30 pm
H69 E&B Bldg, Room 214/215



Frank Schoenig
T +61 2 9351 4419