organisation hierarchy



  • noun the traditional way that authority is structured within an organisation, that is, in a series of layers arranged vertically, each layer consisting of people of equal rank who are superior to the people in the layers below and subordinate to the people in the layers above. During the later 20th and early 21st centuries the numbers of layers within the hierarchies of large organisations have often been greatly reduced as a result of downsizing, leading to so-called flat organisations where there is greater employee empowerment.