Flattening the organization This is the removal of layers of management from the middle levels of an organization, thus flattening the organization and shortening the lines of communication within it. It is also referred to as delayering. Overtime organizations have grown bigger and bigger, adding layer after layer of management. Such organizations end up having a tall structure. This means that the
organizational chart would be quite tall because of the various levels of management. The net effect was a huge complex number of managers, managerial assistants, secretaries, assistant secretaries, supervisors, trainers and soon. The cost of keeping all these managers and support people was quiet high. Also the paperwork generated was enormous and much inefficiency in communication and decision-making became intolerable. E.g. you can imagine how a message maybe distorted as it moves down through the many layers of management. The introduction of computers and information technology has helped to bring efficiency to large operations. E.g. reducing the amount of paperwork by use of word processors like Microsoft word. But more important was to eliminate several layers of management. Throughout the s companies fired managers and tried to become more competitive and efficient. This trend towards trimming management positions is likely to continue with time. The organizations that do not cut down management are tending to create teams, you are likely to get a job because of functional expertise (e.g. a finance manager) but your career is likely to take you into different areas of the firm and demand more skills, you maybe knowledgeable in all trades but a master of at least one. Importance Of Flat Structure In An Organization • To eliminate organizational problems of communication channels I.e. a worker can access information directly from the top management through use of email or bulleting board. • To devolve responsibility and empowerment of workers • To facilitate team based work in some levels of the organization.