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The Company Without Managers

Most companies run on a vertical hierarchy and power flows down. Is there another way?

Most companies around the world exist with some form of hierarchy. Usually it is a vertical structure, with executive above management, which is in turn above the workforce. But there is another form, a “flat” hierarchy. Long promulgated by tech companies and start-ups in particular, flat or horizontally-structured companies operate on the principle of “Be your own boss.” Everyone chooses their agenda, their pace and in principle there is no boss to upbraid you if you make a mistake. So does it work? David Heinemeier Hansson is a founder and partner at the web services company Basecamp, a company with a “flat as possible” structure. He gives his thoughts on being the boss of people when they are their own boss. We also hear from Drew Dudley, author of This is Day One and André Spicer, professor of organisational behaviour at Cass Business School, on the potential pitfalls of flat hierarchies.

Image: Silhouetted faces in a boardroom (Credit: Getty Images)

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18 minutes

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Wed 26 Sep 2018 07:32GMT

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