• Malvika Prasad

Flat Vs Hierarchical Organisational Structures

Updated: Jun 21, 2019

Companies can vary in terms of their organisational structures. The organisational structure of any company is very important for smooth and effective functioning. From coordinating tasks properly to ensuring effective channels of communication, everything depends on the way the organisation is structured. The structure can make or break an organisation. Two common types of organizational structures include "flat" structures and "hierarchical" structures.

A flat structure is where leadership is decentralised, and there is no one person at the top. Where as a hierarchical structure works with a top down approach where there is one person (or a group of people) who lead the organisation. In a flat structure, there are no layers of executives, and there may even be a lack of job titles. Some companies may have a loosely defined upper management, but there is likely no other level between this group and individual employees. Communication can flow a lot easier, and employees are encouraged to participate in the decision-making process. Flat organisations do address a certain gap in hierarchal structures, but have proven to be counter productive in managing large organisations, where the hierarchical structures have been very effective. However, both structures have their pros and cons: