Hierarchy works

Flip Chart Fairy Tales

There has been a lot of excitement about Zappos new hierarchy free, self-organising, boss-less organisation. The holocracy, as it’s known, is all very zeitgeisty. My Twitter timeline is full of articles about smashing corporate hierarchies and getting rid of executives. Last year, Gary Hamel, described in Fortune magazine as ‘the world’s leading expert on business strategy’, told the CIPD conference that “management is a busted flush” and organisations should be getting rid of their managers. And, of course, everyone knows that Generation Blahdon’t like hierarchy. Executives, reporting lines, procedures, organisation charts – all that stuff is just so square, daddio.

At what looks like the other extreme of management philosophy, Amazon has gone for a neo Taylorist model with high control over workers at all levels in the organisation. It’s not very trendy and, on the whole, my Twitter timeline doesn’t like Amazon. 


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Author: Shane O'Mara

Neuroscientist, Psychologist, Writer