An organizational structure is a formal separation of job responsibilities and tasks. Many companies create a diagram that charts how each position or function connects, which may include dotted or dashed lines.
A dotted line in an organizational structure chart indicates a position that reports to multiple superiors. For example, the production department manager may report to both the vice president and president of the company.
The organizational chart helps an employee understand who has authority over the position. However, working in a job connected by a dotted line to alternate supervisors may mean that they are not highly involved in the position.
Management and committees are common positions or groups with dotted lines in the organizational chart. Connecting individual employees with dotted lines to other managers can result in confusion over who can direct the employee’s tasks.