Flat / Horizontal Organisation

The way in which people and departments are arranged into a whole, and the degree of flexibility and autonomy people have, tells a lot about which cultural values are emphasized in an organization (Daft, 2010).

Information about Flat / Horizontal Organisation

In order to increase efficiency in competitive markets, many organisations have been delayering and stripping out levels of management in order to foster a more collaborative and cohesive working environment (Daft, 2010; Hill and Jones, 2008; Triplett, 2007).

Organisational design and restructuring have become popular concepts since the end of the 20th Century. However, the notion of ‘delayering’ has been a common feature of large corporations since the 1950s (The Economist, 2008). In 1999 Frank Ostroff remarked in his book entitled ‘The Horizontal Organisation’: "Structure is still critical to designing an efficient organisation for the 21st or any other century, and certain essential points must be considered: who goes where? What do they do? What are the positions and how are they grouped? What is the reporting sequence? What is each person accountable for? In other words, how does the authority flow?” Essentially, flat or horizontal organizations are synonymous with the post-Fordist company which has sought to become more lean while increasing innovation levels.

Return to People and Skills topic.

Related concepts

Why Do We Need Professional Procurement?

We need professional procurement because it delivers greater benefits than it costs and it helps business and government better manage business decisions. Its value can be demonstrated...

Find out more

Why Work in Professional Procurement?

No one lies awake in bed thinking, ‘I wish I worked in procurement.’ ‘Why would I want to work there?’ they ask. No sex, glamour or money! One former CEO I worked with went further when...

Find out more

The Top Three Issues Facing the Procurement Profession

CIPS Australia’s first undertaking at its inception in late 2004 was to conduct specific research into Australia’s procurement profession to identify the major issues facing the...

Find out more