Information Flow & Hierarchies LO11691

William J. Hobler, Jr (
Mon, 06 Jan 1997 20:41:48 -0500

Replying to LO11655 --

Benn Compton wrote

<It seems to me that everywhere
>we turn, be it biology, ecology, computer science, or organizational
>design we find hierarchies. They are so common, in fact, that I can't help
>but feel they must constitute a "natural form of organization."

I think large organizations break into hierarchies because they provide
smaller communities of people. The size of a community should be large
enough to accomplish meaningful tasks and small enough that everyone in it
can conceive of their interdependencies with relation to their tasks.

>But information can flow in any
>direction, from any node to any node, without the permission of those in
>the hierarchy.

This is a "new" fact of corporate life that is shaking the power base of
many supervisors and managers who used to control the flow. It is the
root cause of perceived treats to otherwise stable power positions.


"William J. Hobler, Jr" <>

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