Traditional Hierarchy-Outdated Organizational Structure

The old paradigm of top-down command and control dates back to the last century

Organizational structures are the way in which companies are organized. They are hierarchies that define the lines of power and responsibility within a company. There are different types of organizational structures. They depend on the size and type of a company as well as its goals and objectives. In this article, we’ll take a look at traditional organizational structure based on strict hierarchy and chain of command.

In a hierarchy, the boss has ultimate authority, and everything they say must be followed.

The hierarchy is a system of organization that determines who has authority over whom. It is also sometimes called a chain of command or a pecking order. A hierarchy can be seen as an inverted pyramid with the boss at the top and each level below them made up of people who are subordinate to those above them in rank. Hierarchies are found in many places, including governments and businesses.

Dictatorship Implications

Dictatorship, form of government in which one person or a small group possesses absolute power without effective constitutional limitations.

The state is only one kind of government. Every organization needs some way to govern itself — to designate who has authority to make decisions concerning its affairs, what their powers are, and what consequences they may mete out to those beneath them in the organizational chart who fail to do their part in carrying out the organization’s decisions.

Managers in private firms can impose, for almost any reason, sanctions including job loss, demotion, pay cuts, worse hours, worse conditions, and harassment. The top managers of firms are therefore the heads of little governments, who rule their workers while they are at work — and often even when they are off duty.

A boss barking orders at their employees is the idea behind hierarchy. But an employer should not behave like a dictator, barking orders at their workers. This outdated notion should be eradicated from all arenas of life. It suggests that the boss has total control, that everything they say must be followed without question, and that managers should bark orders at their workforce. All team members need to have a voice in matters.

Although management ensures that objectives are achieved, they should collaborate with their employees to establish techniques and tasks that will achieve them. Employees will know they are valued and respected members of the team if they are listened to and their ideas are considered.

Traditional hierarchical structure is outdated in today’s world

This org structure is inefficient because creates a bottleneck at the top of the company where all decisions must go through a single person or group of people before being implemented. They also don’t allow for flexibility in decision making which is important for a modern workplace that is constantly changing.

Simply put, the traditional hierarchical structure is not efficient enough to meet the demands of today’s business world and does not provide a sufficient level of autonomy, resulting in a lack of innovation, creativity, and employee engagement, as well as mediocre goal attainment with enormous subsequent costs.

Easier Said Than Done

Moving away from traditional organizational structures is not an easy task, especially for large and established companies.

But for companies that are at the beginning of their journey, new forms of organizational structures and workplaces can be game changers, providing them with great business advantages.

The Old Paradigm Versus New One

The extremists in the top-down camp believe that an autocratic, hierarchical style of command-and-control decision-making is necessary for an organization to be successful and fulfill its purpose.

The extremists in the bottom-up camp believe just the opposite — their view is that a top-down hierarchy separates authority from those actually doing the work. Therefore, at its best, a top-down approach leads to cultures of disempowerment, resentment, and bureaucracy.

So who’s right?

Well, if you were to gauge the current zeitgeist in business and popular culture, you’d get a strong sense that the bottom-up camp is right camp to be in. Best-selling books and viral articles get published regularly that bemoan the old paradigm of top-down command and control as “so-last-century” while promoting an emerging new paradigm of self-managed, egalitarian organizations without bosses, titles, or anyone telling you what to do. Ahhhh. So refreshing.

Would anyone rather work under a strict chain of command for years, doing the same tasks every day in a cubicle with 9-5 work schedule, while receiving a 5-10% annual salary increase?

Or would rather work in dynamic teams, for more than one employer and at different work schedule percentages, without strict working hours, with ultimate flexibility and the opportunity to higher income growth?

For many, the second may sound like a dream, but that is the ultimate goal for workers and the direction where today’s workforce is heading.

Author: DADA HR