Staff line organization

Also known as: Bar line system

Die Stablinienorganisation ist ein Single line system, dass um Stabstellen oder Stäbe erweitert wurde. Stäbe können Expertenausschüsse sein oder aus einzelnen Experten bestehen. In diesem Organisationssystem hat ein Mitarbeiter genau einen Vorgesetzten. Stabstellen sind Vorgesetzten oder der Unternehmensleitung direkt zugeordnet und sollen diese beratend unterstützen und entlasten.

Staff line organization

Definition / explanation

A hierarchical system that has staff positions built into a single-line system is referred to as a staff line organization. It is a special form of the single-line system.

In most cases, the hierarchical structure of companies follows the one-line organization. Certain organizational areas require professional competence expansion. If the company management establishes a staff position in order to get technical support for the procurement of information, one speaks of staff line organization.

Members are not arranged directly in the hierarchy. You have no authority to issue instructions to subordinate employees or organizational units. Staffs are used to obtain information and provide technical support to company management or executives.

Staff help with operational decision-making thanks to their expertise.

Examples of staff positions:

  • Data protection officer
  • IT department
  • Equal Opportunities Officer (human Resource)
  • Quality management
  • Legal Department
  • Press department
  • Product development, project development

Bar line system in practical use

Pole line systems have proven to be a tried and tested structure, especially in the organization of the police and the military. In the free economy, bar line systems are mainly used in medium-sized and larger companies.

For example, the company management relieves itself of the burden by setting up a press staff that takes on the press work. In large companies, staff positions are an important support for managers. Staff units are set up here for the delegation of non-value-adding activities.


  • Relief of the company management / executives
  • Improvement in decision-making skills and quality
  • Availability of expertise / expert knowledge
  • In addition, all the advantages of one-line organization (e.g. transparency of responsibilities, clarity)


  • Potential conflict between line and staff
  • more confusing decision-making processes
  • Frustration in the bar
  • if the decision is incorrect, the blame is passed on to the staff
  • Dependency of line instances on experts
  • high costs


  • In principle, staff line organization is a single line system, which has been expanded to include staff positions or members
  • an employee has exactly one manager
  • Staff positions are important support for managers
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