Re: Anarchy and spontaneous order in business and education

Dan Clemmensen (
Fri, 18 Jul 1997 19:18:10 -0400

Abraham Moses Genen wrote:
> Hierarchys in many organizations are being flattened and are rapidly
> becoming obsolescent. This is primarily due to the changes in the economic
> environment and the need to compete more effectively.
This is a common meme, but I'm not sure it's correct.
I think that the major driving force for flattening
the organization is the advent of the PC. Each manager
has become a great deal more productive, so we need less
managers. I know, all the studies say otherwise, but the
economic forces that drove the growth of management hierarchies
were the increases in productivity of the organizations that
employed them: those organizations became more proifitable than
their competitors and won in the marketplace, because the tasks
the managers were doing increased the productivity of the
companies. Now many of those tasks can be done more efficiently
because the computers help. Therefore, companies need fewer
managers to provide the same level of management.