Horizontal structures involve lateral relations, such as liaison functions, task forces, frequent unplanned meetings, and the use of formalized integrator roles.
The advantage of horizontal structure is a possibility of liberal and informal communication. The disadvantage is that this structure is effective and possible only in small organizations. The decentralized decision making process allows employees greater involvement and fast decision-making. The advantage of vertical structure is greater control and delegation of authority. The disadvantages are lack of flexibility, decision-making from the top, centralization of authority and bureaucratic control of all activities. The examples of vertical structure are Ford Motor Company, Toyota and Microsoft. These organizations have centralization of all management functions and require a high level of lateral interdepartmental coordination and communication involving unplanned face-to-face meetings and mutual adaptation. Coordination of sequential technologies is best accomplished through plans and schedules, whereas coordination of pooled technologies can be accomplished by the use of standard operating procedures (Mullins 304).