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Integration of Network and Function Driven Organizations: the new way forward

At a time when organizations strive for maximum flexibility and agility, network organizations have become increasingly popular. These structures, which focus on collaboration and blur boundaries, have proven to be powerful models for innovation. At the same time, at Totus Consultancy we recognize the inherent value of clearly defined functions within an organization. But who says we have to choose? Here we argue for an integration of both approaches.

network organization and function driven

The Synergy of Networks and Functions

Traditional thinking often contrasts network and function-driven organizations. But in reality they can complement each other:

  1. Flexibility and Structure: While a network organization provides the flexibility to respond quickly to changing circumstances, a function-driven approach ensures that there are clear responsibilities and structures, resulting in streamlined decision-making processes.

  2. Innovation and Standardization: Network structures promote innovation through collaboration and cross-pollination of ideas, while function-driven models provide standardization and best practices that, when properly implemented, do not hinder creativity.

  3. Individual Growth and Organizational Efficiency: Within network organizations, individuals can develop in various areas, while function-oriented approaches provide clear growth paths and training structures.

How to Merge These Models

  1. Role-based Networks: Introduce networking groups centered around specific roles. These groups may consist of experts in a particular area and serve as knowledge centers within the organization.

  2. Flexible Job Descriptions: Instead of rigid job descriptions, create roles that adapt to project needs, but retain core responsibilities.

  3. Promote Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Encourage collaboration between different functional networks. For example, have the marketing and product development teams brainstorm together for optimal product launches.

  4. Operational Excellence as a Connecting Factor: Use methods such as LeanSixSigma and S&OP to stimulate continuous improvement in both function- and network-related activities and to manage capacity integrally. These techniques can help streamline processes and promote collaboration.


The future of organizational structures does not lie in choosing between network or function-driven models, but in smartly integrating both. At Totus Consultancy we have the expertise to guide this transition and create a harmonious model that offers the best of both worlds.

Interested in this approach? Contact Totus Consultancy and discover how we can shape an integrated future for your organization together.


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