A chain of command determines the structure of reporting and authority levels in an organization. This facilitates the coordination of activities to ensure that the organization meets its strategic objectives and also influences how well employees communicate with each other. Organizations exhibit different command and leadership structures, with some having less hierarchy and levels of authority than others.
Unity of Command
Under a commanding principle, an organization should be structured so that an employee reports to only one supervisor. To avoid conflict within the organizational structure, an employee should not report to two or more managers. The unity of command principle provides a clear reporting and authority structure and also enhances accountability because it is clear who is responsible for what.
The scalar principle is an all-encompassing concept that considers interaction between all subordinates and all supervisors. The chain of command should be clear and unbroken from top management to subordinate employees. This principle promotes an organizational structure in which hierarchy exists and continues to grow as more levels of management are added to it.
Authority and Structure
Authority is the essence of the chain of command within the organization. It gives managers the right to make decisions and delegate work and resources so that employees can meet organizational goals. Individuals in the same position in the chain of command have the same level of authority. This typically works as a vertical structure, outlining the relationship between managers and subordinates. A horizontal structure, in contrast, is the relationship among subordinates of the same level.
As a company grows its operations, its organizational structure becomes more complex. This may increase overhead expenses such as payroll, communication and technology costs. More complex organizational structures may also have more bureaucratic decision making processes, especially among senior management. This may have negative effects. For example, a bureaucratic system that slows down customer service response might result in a loss of customers.
- Photo Credit simonkr/iStock/Getty Images
The Advantages of the Chain of Command
The term "chain of command" describes any supervisory or organizational structure that incorporates levels of management and departmental supervision. In such ...
Organizational Structure of a Restaurant
Restaurants are structured to have checks and balances in an organized chain of command. The business belongs to the owners and they...
The Purpose of the Command Structure in a Police Department
The Purpose of the Command Structure in a Police Department. ... The chain of command for civilian staff is very similar to...
Elements of Organizational Structure
Elements of organizational structure give companies effective and efficient ways to run their businesses, ... chain of command, span of control, centralization,...
Definition of an Organizational Chart
Organizational structure refers to the relationships between the people leading different parts of an ... Unity of command means that each person...
Corporate Ladder Structure
A corporate ladder structure, also referred to as corporate structure or corporate hierarchy, is a structure a corporation has that shows the...
Small Business Management Structure
The way you structure your small business management is going to depend on the size of your company. ... The Advantages of...
Types of Organization Structures
Basic Types of Organizational Structures. An organizational structure outlines the reporting structure and hierarchy in an organization, ...
Corporate Hierarchy Structure
This structure represents and illustrates the chain of command ... group in the chain of command. The management teams are hired ......
Airline Organization Structure
Airline Organization Structure. ... The organizational structure of a planning agency is a map or outline of the company's chain of command.
What Is Linear Acceleration?
But in physics, velocity is classified as a vector quantity while speed is a scalar quantity. ... Its underlying principle is Newton's...