responsibility hierarchy

Sometimes you’ll see a flock of birds performing very complex coordinated movements with no apparent leader. Such displays from nature are interesting to observe but there is no way to have a functioning organization of humans without leaders. But who emerges as a leader and why does this happen?

Managers are often promoted up to their level of incompetence. This is because traditional management and employees have unwittingly conspired to focus only on the rewards of certain positions on the responsibility hierarchy and not on the responsibility itself. This leads to strategic errors such as using promotions as a reward for quality work or tenure.

This pattern of misplaced leadership repeats itself across a wide range of organisations. I am quite sure that you know a few people in yourself who were promoted to their level of incompetence instead of their ability to handle the complexity of the higher responsibility role.

 

sources:

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  2. Hu, Fei, et al. “Hierarchy in industrial structure: The cases of China and the USA.” Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications 469 (2017): 871-882.
  3. James, Lawrence R., and Allan P. Jones. “Organizational structure: A review of structural dimensions and their conceptual relationships with individual attitudes and behavior.” Organizational behavior and human performance 16.1 (1976): 74-113.
  4. Lee, Eucman, et al. “Architecture and Adaptability of Hierarchy.” (2017).
  5. Lee, Eucman, et al. “Hierarchy and Collective Intelligence.” (2017).
  6. Otto, Philipp E., and Friedel Bolle. “The advantage of hierarchy: Inducing responsibility and selecting ability?.” Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics 65 (2016): 49-57.
  7. Steiger, Jen S., Khalid Ait Hammou, and Md Hasan Galib. “An examination of the influence of organizational structure types and management levels on knowledge management practices in organizations.” International Journal of Business and Management 9.6 (2014): 43.
  8. Stieglitz, Stefan, Kai Riemer, and Christian Meske. “Hierarchy or activity? The role of formal and informal influence in eliciting responses from enterprise social networks.” (2014).
  9. Worley, June M., and Toni L. Doolen. “Organizational structure, employee problem solving, and lean implementation.” International Journal of Lean Six Sigma 6.1 (2015): 39-58.