Tall and flat organisations

An organisation can have a tall structure or a flat structure.The staff structures of a tall organisation and a flat organisation

Tall organisations

Advantages

  • more opportunities for promotion which can lead to greater staff motivation
  • staff gain more support from their line manager
  • there is a higher degree of supervision as each line manager has a limited number of people they are responsible for

Disadvantages

  • many levels of hierarchy
  • span of control is narrow, and the chain of command is long, making communication slower as instructions take longer to travel through the levels of the organisation
  • longer lines of communication can make the firm less responsive to change
  • can be expensive to run due to high wage costs

Flat organisations

Advantages

  • few levels of hierarchy
  • lines of communication are short, making the firm responsive to change and decision-making quicker
  • staff working in a flat management structure can be empowered to work independently and take on more responsibility

Disadvantages

  • wide span of control means that tasks must be delegated, which can lead to employees feeling stressed and managers feeling overstretched
  • less promotion opportunities within a flat structure, which may lead to the company losing staff to other organisations