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Is the traditional top-down management structure dead?

The chain of command in a business often develops over time to suit operational and strategic needs, but also tends to reflect how society at the time views the relationships between the management and non-managerial staff.
It’s clear from recent history that many companies have been working to take advantage of the skillsets of all those working within the business rather than taking an approach that assumes only those in high-level roles can bring ideas to the table. Interestingly, BBC2 series “Who’s the Boss” even saw the management being excluded from the hiring process in favour of a distinct recruitment approach known as ‘collaborative hiring’.
Top-down management structures were common in the past when it came to business – and to a certain extent, they still are today, but times are changing.

Moving with the times

Flatter hierarchies can improve information exchange and more efficiently utilise skillsets that then boost a company, big or small, by bringing it into the 21st century.

The traditional top-down management structure sometimes creates a situation where the people at the top are making decisions based on second-hand information from the people underneath – never an ideal situation.

Playing for the winning team

By being more flexible and using a flatter hierarchy, everyone in a company is now part of the same team.

The business opportunities and possibilities this offers are truly endless. Once flexibility has become the norm, every future decision will come from a much more informed and productive place.

Some businesses tend to have an ‘us and them’ relationship between managerial and non-managerial staff. This can introduce inefficiencies and can impact on morale which in turn affects productivity. Efforts to reduce this separation can often be fruitful.

A better use of skills

Everyone in a company has their own individual strengths and weaknesses – but a top-down approach can often emphasise the wrong side of the coin. Flatter hierarchies allow well-trained workers to gain far greater job satisfaction when they feel involved in the decision making process. Decisions will also be made far more quickly and smoothly.




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Shaikh & Co Accountants

10 Decimus Park, Kingstanding Way, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN2 3GP - Tel:01892 552696