Following the last post I stumbled over this:
Harvard Business Review, March 2003 has the following interesting article:
Why Hierarchies Thrive. By Harold J. Leavitt.
In essence Leavitt lists the two following reasons for why hierarchies thrives:
- "Hierarchies fulfill our deep needs for order and security."
- "Hierarchies show us how fast we are climbing the ladder of success; they give us identity."
Order expanded in the same article:
"Nature's way of helping us to process complexity."
"Hierarchies add structure and regularity to our lives. They give us routines, duties and responsibilities."
"Hardly anyone has a good word to say about hierarchies."
Now if we want to replace the hierarchies, then the following has to be fulfilled:
How to handle these in alternative ways:
- Order: As earlier mentioned, tags can replace tree structures. Hierarchies are tree-structures, tags not. Hierarchies organises in two dimensions, tags have no limits. Hierarchies loose.
- Security: Routines, duties and responsibilities. Go with the flow, structured flows. Flows are the natural way and can be delivered by IT structures. No need for an iffy tree structure using command and control then. Flows win, command looses.
- Identity: Rating, visibility - we know how it works in a networked and open world, small or large. Identity ensues from real results, personality and visibility. No "status" on false premises is the good part (not for all, but if in doubt just distribute "free high-status business cards" and amazing titles. Cheap and easy, no hierarchies needed for that either).
Still want to keep the hierarchies?