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Workplace Realism: The Myth of Flattened Hierarchy

Traditional Hierarchies Are Here to Stay

Forget everything you’ve heard about power structure in business changing. Traditional hierarchies in the workplace still exist, more or less. As quoted by Emmanuel in this International Political Economy Zone article, “power structures haven’t changed much over the years.”

Power Matters

Because power games are inherent in human societies, the notion that they will go away in “new age” organizations is risible. In a world where people strive to get ahead, it is inevitable that this will be done at others' expense. Call it “workplace realism”; people are keeping score. So, the corporate hierarchy becomes reinforced the embodiment of this perpetual conflict–be it cavemen or white collar workers.

So it looks like corporate hierarchy isn’t going anywhere soon. The tradition structure revolving around leadership and power still exists because it still has its benefits. Having a relationship with your boss is still important for networking purposes. As quoted by Emmanuel In his recent research, Jeffrey Pfeffer says that these structures can be linked to “survival advantages in the workplace” where securing high job positions and having more authority over others fulfills “deep-seated needs for order and security.”

Pfeffer also notes that the millennials’ view of the fading traditional hierarchical power structure helps create their new theories about organizational structure in the workplace. However, he argues that traditional power structures are here to stay.

Read the full article here:

About Gavin Martin

Information systems architect / technical design authority with over 20 years experience delivering small-scale through enterprise systems to commercial, finance and government customers.

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