Organisational structure configurations, their application and contribution to business performance in Greek shipping companies

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The maritime industry is the cornerstone of the transportation of goods worldwide, offering safe, secure and environmentally friendly operations. Greek-owned and managed shipping companies and their successful performance can also be attributed to their unique organisational structure. The present paper explores the operational and theoretical organisational features in relation to Greek shipping companies and establishes to which extent these contribute to their business performance. Primary and secondary sources of information are considered while also employing semi-structured interviews and questionnaires. Two shipping companies each with a diverse fleet of vessels are examined through the development of 8 organisational structures and 12 company structural elements. It is found that Greek shipping companies’ structure is described by a hybrid organisational framework, combining the family-oriented strong leadership, internal company bonds, solid management, rapid adaptation to change and the attraction of loyal investors. Company A should further streamline the specialist organisational elements within operations (bunkering and chartering), technical and corporate functions (commercial, finance, training, IT, HR, insurance and legal) department while company B should upgrade the finance (accounts and invoice controls teams), HSQE (health, safety, environment, quality), operations (chartering element) and technical (purchasing, new building and performance teams) departments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-570
Number of pages28
JournalWMU Journal of Maritime Affairs
Issue number4
Early online date30 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2023


  • organisational structure
  • hybrid organisational framework
  • Greek shipping companies
  • family-oriented organisational elements


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