organization chart

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Organization chart

A chart showing the hierarchical interrelationships of positions within an organization.
Copyright © 2012, Campbell R. Harvey. All Rights Reserved.

Organization Chart

A graph stating the hierarchy of position in an organization and how they relate to one another. For example, an organization chart would state that all departments in a company ultimately answer to the board of directors which, in turn, answers to shareholders.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Organization chartclick for a larger image
Fig. 63 Organization chart. A ‘dotted line'relationship.
Organization chartclick for a larger image
Fig. 62 Organization chart. A simple example.

organization chart

a diagrammatic representation of the job tides and the formal patterns of AUTHORITY and RESPONSIBILITY in an ORGANIZATION. See Fig. 62.

Generally, such charts display the managerial HIERARCHY though they can be used to show all job positions within the organization. Though such charts are useful for presenting the overall structure, undue reliance should not be placed on such charts for the understanding of how organizations actually function. They rarely show the actual nature of job responsibilities.

They do not indicate what levels of cooperation may be necessary between departments, they do not show the actual communication flows nor the informal patterns of authority which may coexist with the formal channels. Organizations are usually much more complex and fluid than the organization chart suggests. In so far as the chart highlights the formal CHAIN OF COMMAND they can be said to embody a mechanistic conception of organization.,

More sophisticated organization charts may show ‘dotted-line’ relationships as well as the formal line of command. This is a representation of a relationship between two employees where one has no direct-line authority over the other but is empowered to give instruction on particular issues.

In Fig. 63 the Personnel Manager has a ‘dotted line’ relationship with the Area Manager, enabling him or her to give instructions on personnel issues. In theory the Personnel Manager's authority to do this flows from the powers of the General Manager. In practice those giving instructions through the ‘dotted-line’ may build up their own power base. See BUREAUCRACY, HIERARCHY, MECHANISTIC AND ORGANISMIC, SPAN OF CONTROL, LINE AND STAFF, PRODUCT-BASED STRUCTURE, FUNCTIONAL STRUCTURE, MATRIX STRUCTURE, DE-LAYERING, BUSINESS PROCESS RE-ENGINEERING.

Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson
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