Flat Organizational Structure

What You Should Know About Flat Organizational Structure

Read the following article to get a detailed explanation of what a flat organizational structure is and what its varied characteristics are.
There needs to be a particular structure in every organization, without which there cannot be proper functioning taking place. No organizational culture could survive the world of non-channelized chaos and it is for this reason that certain types of organizational structures have been developed. The purpose of the varied organizational structures is to formulate a hierarchy or an order by which there is a distribution of the ranks and thereby the functioning. This becomes necessary for the achievement of the organizational goals through the efficient working of the different forces. In the following article, we will look into one particular type of structure and that is the flat organizational structure.
Definition
This organizational structure has a unique way of maintaining the company structure and thereby the functioning and ultimately achieving its goals. The organizational structure and design of this has been arranged in such a way that there are minimum layers between the executives and the employees, unlike other structures which usually have several layers between the employees and the management. This is done with the objective of allowing the employees to take an active part in the decision-making process of the company and thereby allowing for the goals to be better met.
Even though there are probably the heads, supervising managers, or any other figure of authority between the employees and the managing director, there are minimum layers, and therefore, the organizational leadership is minimum. This allows the employees to feel equally responsible for the decision-making process and the outcome. This particular organizational structure is followed by small scale enterprises.
Advantages
  • Since there are no middle layers in the form of authorities to answer to, there is less time spent on waiting for any decision to come forth. This saves a lot of time and thereby proves profitable in the long run.
  • The employees are responsible for most of the decision-making processes and therefore, the productivity, efficiency, and responsibility increases.
  • The cost of running the organization also comes down because the middlemen are eliminated and the finances that would have been focused on salaries can be diverted to more important tasks.
  • Since the organization functions on a small scale, there are fewer communication barriers to deal with and therefore effective communication among employees is seen. This contributes to a better and more productive working environment, builds team spirit, and eradicates bureaucracy.
Disadvantages
  • This structure can only be applied in small companies with the hope of leading to success. Larger organizations where work takes place on a larger scale would find it difficult to allot the decision-making power to the employees and expect that it will all function smoothly.
  • Since the concept of immediate bosses does not exist, all employees might be reporting to 2-3 or more separate bosses thus making the process confusing and raising the potential of problems in communication.
  • Added confusion might hamper the growth of the company.
  • There might be instances of power struggles experienced among the bosses. There could also be confusion on part of the employees about whom to report to as well.
  • The boundaries about the varied decision-making and functioning powers become blurred, which can lead to tension and power struggle and therefore to losses.
A flat organizational structure has several advantages to offer and if your organization is one that is based on a small scale then this could be a very advantageous option to look into.