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Flat organizational structure vs traditional one

Kirjoittanut: Ariel Cohen - tiimistä SYNTRE.

Esseen tyyppi: Yksilöessee / 2 esseepistettä.
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 3 minuuttia.

Flat organizational structure vs traditional structure 


Flat organizational structure 


In this interconnected world, organizations rely less and less on traditional hierarchy pyramids and require collaboration between employers and employees. What leaders and organizations have learned in recent history, is that the traditional ideology of hierarchy lacks a connection between employees and employers and it can affect the organization in a bad way.  


Because there is no hierarchy, employees are able to communicate and work together more. This is good quality. A corporation could choose to adopt a flat organizational structure for a number of reasons, including to cut costs, do away with the need for middle managers, or enable the company to become more adaptable and change-responsive. 


A management style with minimal administrative layers among employees is known as a “flat organization.” Since everyone is on an equal footing, this should encourage more interaction and teamwork. As businesses want to be agile and adaptable to change, flat organizations are growing in popularity. Employees may have more authority and responsibility in a flat company. Additionally, it is believed to be able to raise overall employee morale. A horizontal organizational structure is another name for it. (Mahr 2022) 


This beautiful visual representation (made by me) might help more, to understand the structure. As seen, employees are directly under the manager, and therefore, for example, the communication between works better. (Meehan 2022) 




This structure has some downsides also. Employees often lack a specific boss to report to, which might cause confusion and possible struggles for power among the management. Flat companies frequently generate more generalists than experts, and employees’ exact work duties might not be obvious. A flat organizational structure may prevent a company from growing over the long run; management may decide against new opportunities in an attempt to keep the structure. 


In big organizations, it is really difficult to adapt to this structure. There are just too many things going on and it requires more management. (Colette 2019) 


Hierarchical structure  


An organization with a tall organizational structure has numerous degrees of hierarchy among its employees, which means that workers are ranked from most to least powerful. The top people have more influence and power than the bottom people. The most typical and established type of organization is one with a towering organizational hierarchy. Another name for it is a hierarchical structure. It offers many benefits, including a clear chain of command and a clear division of labor. The employees might be more motivated since they have a chance for promotion for you to move up in the food chain.  A flat organizational structure, however, can also have drawbacks such as a lack of innovation and originality, rigidity, and employee unhappiness. (Mahr 2022) 


A flat hierarchy also promotes psychological safety, and since everyone is on the same level, it creates this trust between “managers” and employees. You are not oppressed by leaders and you actually have a voice and a chance to take part more in the organization.  




Like in everything, there are always good and bad sides. Different companies have different objectives, and structures, and there is no general model that works for everyone. Don’t get stuck to the one and only model of thinking and be brave and try different things out. Old-fashioned leaders are slowly stepping out of the scene and new leaders with innovative ideas are arising.







Mahr. N. 2022. Flat organizational structure. Read on 17.10.2022 



Meehan. L. Colette. 2019. Flat vs hierarchial organizational structure. Read on 17.10.2022 

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