Meaning – Dotted to, or a dotted line relation ship is generally found in matrixes organisations. In this kind of a reporting relationship, the employee reports to more than manager. A dotted line relationship is often used by a project manager, who needs to get some outcome out of the employees, but does not need to interact deeply or oversee them in depth. Its a more loosely help relationship, and is thus used only when necessary.
Organizations often use the dotted line reporting as a first step towards transitioning to a matrix organizational structure. Here, they try to get things done through ad hoc or virtual teams, but it later becomes evident that the dotted line approach does not often yield the results that they expect. The next course of action is to take a solid line approach.
Example of usage – “She worked in an organisation, where she had to report to multiple managers for the various tasks she was told to perform. She realised that her organisation was using the dotted line approach.”