A hierarchical organization is an organizational structure where every entity in the organization, except one, is subordinate to a single other entity. This arrangement is a form of a hierarchy. In an organization, the hierarchy usually consists of a singular/group of power at the top with subsequent levels of power beneath them. This is the dominant mode of organization among large organizations; most corporations, governments, and organized religions are hierarchical organizations with different levels of management, power or authority. (Wikipedia)
The Hierarchy in organizations created by the assignment of a manager/leader of an entity by the higher entity in the organization and delegation of power and authority to the assigned individual. So the assigned leader can (using power and authority) set a direction, make decisions and move his group forward? Well, in today’s world the answer is NO.
One person or a few people can make decisions faster than a group of people, but making a decision is not enough. The decision makers need to convince people to follow their direction. I doubt that someone still believes that the tactics of previous centuries will work today. So what the leaders are doing? They are looking for the leaders of the second organization structure, the real organization structure. They are looking for the leaders that were elected (without an election) by people as influencers. If the bright manager will manage to move the influencer to his side, there is a good chance that the decision will become a reality. If he fails in that task, the decision will be yet another line in a protocol that no one (except postmortem investigation committees) will ever look at it again.
Although most of us that were raised on the importance of Hierarchies see just the hierarchy structure an organization, we all know that behind the efficient perception of any hierarchical organization we will find yet another organizational structure. Is that efficient? No, but that is the reality! Any organization history has many examples of bitter attempts to run it while ignoring the real organization structure. We all saw it or even tried to do it.
So what is the alternative? There are many, and none of them has the concept of anarchy embedded inside (as most of you might think). The fractal structure of organizations is widespread in nature and probably for a reason, so shying away from fractal structure will be a mistake. The fractal structure is composed of reoccurring groups that not necessarily need to be governed by a central group. There are also different ways to make sure that the leaders of a group are the natural leaders and to eliminate the duplicated structure.
Our blog can provide you with a variety of management systems and examples of systems that are not following the classical hierarchical model.