Flat Organization

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“Market leaders win by building an adaptive, innovation-friendly organization, establishing an inspiring culture and empowering employees,” according to Learn Management 2. Flat organizations meet many of those goals. Flat organization is something of a misnomer, since they are not really flat--just flatter than tall organizations. Instead of “shifting the responsibility” up the management ladder, flat structures empower employees to take charge, help make decisions and feel responsible for the company’s success. Structure

Flat organizations have relatively few--sometimes just one--layers of management. Unlike the tall structures common to many businesses, flat structures have a short chain of command and a wide span of managerial control. Span of control, originally a military term, refers to the number of subordinates that directly report to that manager. In a flat structure, more subordinates report to a single manager. Due to the reduced number of management layers, small organizations get the most out of flat structures. Communication

Flat structure facilitates a greater level of communication between employees and management. They tend to be more democratic and offer a greater level of innovation. Communication is usually faster, more reliable and more effective than in tall structures. Direct staff input leads to more support for decisions and fewer behind-the-scenes power struggles and disagreements. Decision Making

Lean and fit, flatter structures are more flexible and adaptable than taller structures. That level of flexibility means decisions are made on an “as needed” basis, which makes it easier to serve your clients. In a tall...
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