Summary of Functional Versus Unit Organizations

Looking for the article?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 5 minutes.

Functional Versus Unit Organizations summary
Start getting smarter:
or see our plans


8 Overall

8 Applicability

8 Innovation

8 Style


“Functional” or “unit” organization – which one is best for your business? In this detailed and pragmatic article, Steven Sinofsky, former president of Microsoft’s Windows division, tackles the myths and misconceptions surrounding structural reorganization endeavors. Using his time at Microsoft for exemplification, Sinofsky lays out the strengths and weaknesses of functional and unit organizational structures and lists basic insights about the challenge of reorganization. Although Sinofsky’s post would have benefited from a round of editing, getAbstract recommends this valuable article to managers pondering change.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What CEOs should consider before reorganizing departmental structures,
  • What pros and cons exist in both “functional” and “unit” organizational structures, and
  • Which problems no organizational structure will solve.

About the Author

Steven Sinofsky is a board partner at Andreessen Horowitz and former president of Microsoft’s Windows division.



The structure of a company not only affects its human talent, but also the products it creates. In theory, CEOs have a choice between a “functional” or “unit” organizational model. However, few companies exemplify either structure exclusively – and for good reason. For instance, even a company with a unit-based structure – which builds its teams around product lines – would probably have a global sales team led by a sales manager rather than a bunch of small teams.

Get the key points from this article in 10 minutes.

For you

Find the right subscription plan for you.

For your company

We help you build a culture of continuous learning.

 or log in

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

More by category