Flat organization

The premise behind a flat organization structure is to empower employees by making them a larger part of the decision-making process. Function A flat organization structure is designed to minimize bureaucracy and make employees more productive by empowering them to make decisions. Communication occurs more easily between upper managers and baseline employees, allowing for more rapid change and problem resolution.

Flat organization

Flat organization

Organizational structure[ edit ] In flat organizations, the number of people directly supervised by each manager is large, and the number of people in the chain of command above one is small. Moreover, managers in a flat organization rely less on guidance from superiors because the number of superiors above the manager is limited.

This structure is generally possible only in smaller organizations or individual units within Flat organization organizations. Having reached a critical size, organizations can retain a streamlined structure but cannot keep a completely flat manager-to-staff relationship without impacting productivity.

A company would not have to give a raise or promotion, based on service length but on greater productivity. Also eliminating certain departments from the payroll means saving money.

The flat organization model promotes employee involvement through a decentralized decision-making process.

By elevating the level of responsibility of baseline employees and eliminating layers of middle managementcomments and feedback reach all personnel involved in decisions more quickly.

Expected response to customer feedback becomes more rapid. Self-managing teams[ edit ] A "strong form" of flat organization is an organization with no middle management at all. Very small businesses may lack middle managers because there are too few staff to justify hiring middle managers; in this type of organization, the business owner or the CEO may perform some of the functions performed by middle managers in larger organizations.

However, some organizations do not take on middle managers even as they become larger, and remain extremely flat. An organization which has self-managing teams, that organize their own work without the need for a middle manager or supervisor above the team, may meet or closely approximate this model.


This can cause conflict with people whose career path expectations include a promotionwhich may not be available within the organization due to its flat structure. However, due to the fact that significant responsibilities are given to the team members themselves, if a team collectively arrives at the view that the procedures it is following are outdated, or could be improved, it may be able to change them.

If executive management is not involved in the decision, or merely rubber-stamps it, this might be an example of consensus decision-making or workplace democracy at the level of a team - or group of teams, if multiple teams are involved in the decision. The foremost example of a company with self-managing teams is Valve Corporationwhich also has rotating, not permanent, team leaders - which Valve terms "group contributors", in recognition of the fact that contributing individually and leading at Valve form a spectrum, not a binary dichotomy.

This is known as open allocationand means that employees can switch to another team at any time, no questions asked; all desks are on wheels to make this easy.

Talk:Flat organization - Wikipedia

Cliff Oswick from Cass Business Schoolwho has studied Valve and other examples of "non-leadership", believes that Valve works because it hires high-calibre people who are a good fit for the leaderless environment, and because it was founded as a flat organization from the outset, so that new hires always knew what they were getting into.

Reaktora Finnish software and design consultancy with employees has a flat hierarchy and self-managing teams, and also shares all the relevant business numbers with all of their employees.

However, in response to criticism, GitHub introduced a layer of middle management in The Morning Star Companywhich has no supervising managers.Jan 19,  · A flat organization is an organization that has a low number of management levels.

It means a low number of degrees of organizational units.

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Flat organization in practice: Flat organization is very flexible in the decision making, because the flow of information from the lowest to the highest-ranking of the organization is fast and short.3/5(2).

flat organization an ORGANIZATION which has only a few managerial layers. This avoids excessive bureaucracy (see TALL ORGANIZATION); decision-making is more closely in touch with.

Flat organization

A flat organization structure has few levels of management between the executive level and the front-line employees. The premise behind a flat organization structure is to empower employees by making them a larger part of the decision-making process.

Jul 13,  · Jacob is an Author, speaker and futurist. His latest book, The Future of Work: Attract New Talent, Build Better Leaders, and Create a Competitive Organization, explores how the workplace is.

A flat organization (also known as horizontal organization) has an organizational structure with few or no levels of middle management between staff and executives. An organization's structure refers to the nature of the distribution of . Jun 30,  · Flat Structure.

A flat organization refers to an organization structure with few or no levels of management between management and staff level .

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