Flat vs Hierarchical

Flat organizations sound cool

But why tall #hierarchies are so uncool these days?

Around 7 years back I and my boss were trying to understand the organizational structure of a manufacturing company.

We were designing some learning programs for the organization across different levels

Their organizational structure was very tall

Out of curiosity, I asked, “do they even need such a long chain of command?”

My boss gave me two answers (he loved to give two answers for every question)

Well, Alok, the first answer is pretty straightforward, he said.

There are defined roles in any formalized and large organizations. There are defined tasks, roles, responsibilities, and ownership assigned to each level. It makes sense.

His answer B: In a hierarchy, everyone needs to have a sense of growth and purpose. People need to feel valued and hence there has to be a position for them every time they get promoted.

Every position becomes a goal or a career objective. Hence it makes sense.

While the answer B is subjective and might need some research, I feel it holds some water.

Tall hierarchies exist because they serve a deep purpose.

What about flat structures? are they really cool?

In my next post write why I feel truly flat organizations can’t exist


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