What do you understand by line and staff positions?
There are a vast variety of positions exist within a line-and-staff organizations and there are some positions that are primarily for the organizations mission or company goal and some other positions are secondary–which would be in the form of support to indirect contribute to company missions, so
the positions which in line-and-staff organizations would be differentiated in several ways, it would be as simple approach classifies as it would be the line or staff.
In the line position which this can be said (manager) is directly involved in the day-to-day operations of the organizations for example, producing or selling a product or service.
Line positions are mainly working on the primary activities of the company’s business on the company’s goals or mission.
We may take the example of a line manager who is the marketing executive of any organizations, his main focus on the marketing research, market forecasting to find out the product or service and demand although they are not involving produce a particular product or service but they directly worked to the principal workflow of an organization.
Staff positions which are the second part of the line-and-staff organizations who are indirectly supporting to line managers who are known as line functions.
Staff positions included those staff personnel who have technical knowledge on some particular field with the help of their knowledge and expertise company or any organizations produced any profit-making product or services and assist their line manager or line personnel to achieve their mission or goal.
I have given as following Figure 1 which showing the Line-and-Staff-Organizations
Staff Managers or support staff provide support, advice to their line personnel or in other words they support and advise their chain of command.
At the above discussion, we can say that although staff managers are not part of the chain of command but they have authority over personnel or line personnel due to their expertise on particular technical knowledge to achieve the company or organization’s mission. They have not directly engage in profit-making activities, but they provide the support their line personnel
to achieve particular goals.
For further reading you may read other article on the subject of Principal of Management.