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Nike's Flat Organizational Structure

Updated March 23, 2017

The Nike sportswear company is organised in a matrix organizational structure, more commonly known as a flat organizational structure. According to Flatworld Knowledge, Nike is a model of a successful company that uses this structure effectively.

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Flat Organization

In a flat or matrix organisation, employees report to project or product teams led by a product manager as well as to the department manager. With Nike, each brand has a department, and each department makes decisions independent of the CEO. Each department also has subdepartments or project teams responsible for handling minitasks within each department.


At Nike and in other flat or matrix organisations, the product team and product managers make decisions regarding product specifications and production. Department managers focus primarily on policy-related issues.

Best Practice

Global competition requires companies like Nike to react quickly to marketplace dynamics. In flat organisations, production teams led by product managers can make decisions and react much more quickly than the traditional department head, who is often removed from the production line.

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About the Author

Dwight Chestnut has been a freelance business researcher and article writer for over 18 years. He has published several business articles online and written several business ebooks. Chestnut holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Mississippi (1980) and a Master of Business Administration from University of Phoenix (2004).

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