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Daisey, M. (2002).  21 Dog Years : Doing Time @
"When you work in an office everything becomes an abstraction. The higher you travel up the chain, the less actual work is being done, as everyone becomes responsible for overseeing those below them, who are supervising those below them, ad nauseam. In the Vedic tradtion Hindus believe that the world's firmament rests on four elephants, who in turn stand on the back of a turtle. The question always comes: 'What's holding up the turtle?' And the answer is: 'It's turtles all the way down.' Likewise in corporations—it is all turtles, straight to the bottom, and after a while it becomes impossible to feel what is happening at an experiential level. Only lunch meetings persist. Postmodern capitalism." (p. 167) See also the second chapter titled "Turtles all the way down" in Kantrow. 1
Barry, D. (2000).  Claw Your Way to the Top: How to Become the Head of a Major Corporation in Roughly a Week.
"So the trick, with subordinates, is to keep them happy, productive, hopeful, and—above all—subordinate." (p. 36)
Townsend, R. (1984).  Further up the organization.
"Good organizations are living bodies that grow new muscles to meet challenges. A chart demoralizes people. Nobody thinks of himself as below other people. And in a good company he isn't." (p. 159)
Aronowitz, S., & Difazio W. (1994).  The Jobless Future: Sci-Tech and the Dogma of Work.
"In the past twenty-five years, computer-mediated work, despite its potential for reintegrating design and execution, has been employed, typically but not exclusively, in a manner that reproduces the hierarchies of managerial authority. The division between intellectual and manual labor and the degradation of manual labor that was characteristic of the industrializing era have been simultaneously shifted to the division between the operators and the professional-managerial employees, but also the division between the "lower" operating and "higher" expert orders broadly reproduces within intellectual labor itself the old gulf separating manual and intellectual labor in the mechanical era. Hierarchy is frequently maintained despite the integrative possibilities of the technology. Under this regime of production, the computer provides the basis for greatly extending the system of discipline and control inherited from nineteenth-century capitalism. Many corporations have used it to extend their Panopticonic world-view; that is, they have deployed the computer as a means of employee surveillance that far exceeds the most imperious dreams of the Panopticon's inventor, Jeremy Bentham, or any nineteenth- or early twentieth-century capitalist." (p. 89)
Yankelovich, D. (1999).  The Magic of Dialogue: Transforming Conflict into Cooperation.
"In traditional hierarchical arrangements, those at the top of the pecking order can afford to be casual about how well they understand those at lower levels. But when people are more equal, they are obliged to make a greater effort to understand each other. If no one is the undisputed boss anymore, and if all insist on having their views respected, it follows that people must understand each other." (p. 18)
Lauer, C. (2008).  The Management Gurus: lessons from the best management books of all time. (John C. Maxwell, Ed.).
"Finally, the traditional hierarchy—the pyramid structure of almost all organizations—has to be discarded. The traditional top-down method of leadership is wasteful and ineffective because a company's need to innovate continues to conflict with shared assumptions about loyalty and unquestioning obedience. This situation must change." (p. 269)
Shtogren, J. (1981).  Models for Management : The Structure of Competence.
"Chain of command looks good on paper, but in practice it falls far short as an effective system for arousing cooperation when basic economic conditions have resulted in men being released from industrial servitude." (p. 122)
Morin, W. J. (1995).  Silent Sabotage: Rescuing Our Careers, Our Companies, and Our Lives from the Creeping Paralysis of Anger and Bitterness.
"At the organizational level, we must begin removing the hierarchical walls that we've built around us....We must move away from the concept that the boss is omnipotent and all powerful [sic] and move toward a more fluid organizational structure that favors a shared approach toward conducting business." (p. 57)
Hodson, R., & Sullivan T. A. (1995).  Social Organization of Work.
"In contrast [to bureaucratic rigidity], the conditions that have been found to promote innovation and change include the decentralization of power, low levels of formalization, equity of rewards, low emphasis on volume, low emphasis on cost-cutting, and high levels of job satisfaction (Hall, 1991). In brief, excessive bureaucracy and hierarchy may interfere with productivity rather than promote it. At some point excessive rationality becomes irrational. (Ritzer, 1993)" (p. 199)
Dixon, G., & Levinson H. (1988).  What Works at Work: Lessons from the Masters.
"The sunflower effect—doing what your boss wants you to do—is still very powerful in all organizations because the power in all organizations is significantly at the top. Conflicts at high levels in organizations reverberate all the way down, reflecting the displacement downward of that anger and hostility and once again reflecting power at the top." (p. 282)

See also: bureaucracy, rank, control

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SKOS Concept Scheme

SKOS concepts and relations

Concept Scheme: business culture/management vocabulary

URI: business culture/management vocabulary


  • Concept: hierarchy
    • preferred: hierarchy
    • definition: the organization of people at different ranks in an administrative body
    • related: bureaucracy
    • related: rank
    • broader: control
    • closeMatch:
    • keyword-38
    • linked content:
      • sense: hierarchy
      • sense: pecking order
      • sense: power structure
      • hierarchy
      • in scheme:
      • gloss: the organization of people at different ranks in an administrative body
      • hyponym of:
      • synset id: 108376051
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