The system can pose a problem to the whole organization when the ratio of employees to managers become too out of proportion. When communication is passed across many management layers, there is a high chance of miscommunication. Flat Structure Improves Communication One of the disadvantages of a tall organizational structure is the slow rate of communication due to the number of management layers between executives and staff employees. While reporting directly to the company president has its advantages, there are also several disadvantages to this type of organizational structure. … When it comes to discussing the advantages of horizontal organizational structure, the benefits are typically limited to smaller, less complex organizations. In this article, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the functional structure, plus learn about other organizational structures in business. Hey there Adam, I enjoyed reading your summary regarding the difference between a tall organization and flat organization in addition detailing the advantage and disadvantage between the two organizational structures. The flat organizational structure is most common in young startups and small businesses. If you want to learn more about organizational structure types in Project Management you should check out our 100% Online and Self-Paced Project Management Professional Certification Training . There is less dominance in the workplace. Tesco has a tall structure. It Can Create Power Struggle Under this organizational structure, it is observed that employees often lack a specific boss to report to, especially when the owner or CEO is not around. Some founders do make a conscious decision to have a flat organization but it usually occurs organically when a small team of specialists come together to pursue a business idea. Faster decisions create highly satisfied customers and often improves employee morale. Some companies, even when they have already grown or expanded retain a flat structure. Key Difference – Tall vs Flat Structure The key difference between tall and flat structure is that tall structure is an organizational structure with many levels of hierarchy whereas flat structure is an organizational structure with a limited number of levels of hierarchy. There will be far less people and managers to consult on the critical things to be done within the organization. The flat organizational structure eliminates middle management and adopts a more casual, people-powered approach to running a business. Flat and Hierarchical Organizational Structures refer to the typeof order a business or corporate’s managers, subordinates and staff are positioned for reporting, supervision and communication purpose. Startups and small business should weight its advantages and disadvantages before deciding to implement it in their own business. 7. Without middle management expertise, the flat organizational structure requires the front-line staff to be experts in their job responsibilities. There are fewer eyes looking over their shoulders or criticizing their ideas, which allows each worker to focus on what they do best instead of focusing their efforts to please a supervisor who controls the feedback that goes into their personnel file. When there is confusion within the employee base, that often translates to confusion within the customer base. With this organizational structure, customer comments and feedback will reach all the personnel involved in the decision faster, enabling the company or organization to make a rapid response to customer feedback. This makes it hard for workers to focus on their tasks and specialize at their jobs. It isn’t scalable. However, the flat structure also makes it harder for ambitious employees to find satisfaction. 2. In my opinion the benefit of tall organizations really benefit larger publicly traded companies like that sit on the Standards & Poor 500 list. It is designed to minimize bureaucracy. Management Can Easily Lose Control As mentioned above, this structure is ideal for startups and small business where the number of employees is still manageable. Here are some of the additional flat organization structure advantages and disadvantages to think about. Flat organizational structure Advantages of a Flat Organizational Structure 1. Tall and flat organisations The staff structures of a tall organisation and a flat organisation Tall organisations Advantages. A flat structure (or a flat hierarchy) is an organizational structure that has significantly fewer management layers and significantly wider spans of management control than another organization, for example, an organization of comparable size, in the same industry (or an organization unit in the same corporation), with a similar business model and purpose. Flat organizational structure helps avoid this by allowing the upper management to take direct input from employees, and vice versa. It can hinder employee retention. The fewer individuals who have to be consulted for a decision, the quicker it is to be made, making a flat organizational structure really beneficial. That lessens their effectiveness and ultimately is costly to the employer. The rise of new leadership models, the development of technologies, and the multi-generational workforce mix tend to challenge traditional organizational structures. An example often used to … 4. Although access is a benefit, because there are not continuous lines of communication between varying departments or teams, a lot of time can be wasted when trying to be innovative. For the average person, up to 15 minutes of lost productivity can happen whenever a task is switched. In this structure the most trained employees get involved with decision making process. Then, of course, flat organizational structure is for everyone. Employees in this type of structure do benefit from being able to approach the C-Suite with their ideas. That improves employee morale. Flat organization structure refers to having a relatively small number of layers in your company's organizational chart. This means that there are less wages, fringe benefits, and so on, to pay for management. This structure isn’t scalable, so fast growth in an SMB or startup can cause the C-Suite to lose control over their workplace. Flat structure is also known as horizontal structure. 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