The linear organization it is one in which authority flows from the highest levels of the organization to the lowest: in this sense, the duties and responsibilities of the different members, as well as the relationships established and defined between them early on. For example: the army, the Church, businessmen.
The linear organization has a pyramid-like conformation, where each one of the bosses receives and transmits what happens in their area, by means of communication channels prepared specifically for that: in this way, it is impossible for there to be a decision within the organization that no one is in charge of. as for responsibility. In any case, due to its comprehensive intention, the final responsibility always falls on the top of the pyramid.
The beginning that govern the linear type organization (also called centralized) are those of the command and supervision unit (individuals do not have more than one boss), the direction unit and the centralization of authority (that of which responsibility, as well as the direction of the company, does not fork) and the scalar chain, revaluing the importance of hierarchy and subordination accordingly.
Advantages and disadvantages
The advantages of a linear organization can be seen in the simplicity of its structure due to the reporting to a single superior, the delimitation of responsibilities, the ease of implementation and the good communication mechanisms between the different hierarchical structures, which results in good channels for other purposes.
The disadvantages, Instead, they are more related to the problems derived from the constancy of formal relationships, or problems in the discipline that can be derived from an organization in which the hierarchies are very clear.
A linear organization take a risk to exaggerate the function of the leadership and of command, and on many occasions the boss at the top cannot even have a talk with the sectors below, which are part of his organization. This same boss runs the risk of trying to cover so much, not specializing in anything.
In general terms, it can be said that the linear organization can serve to small companies, for the easy handling and for the simple economy it provides. As the company grows, congestion of the formal lines of communication seems imminent with such a system, especially at high levels.
Examples of Linear Organizations
Here are some types of organizations that use linear schemes:
- Army, in all its areas, it has a form of organization of this type.
- Church, on many occasions, it is governed by linear schemes.
- Usually, managers or entrepreneurs with stronger personalities they choose these systems to concentrate all the decisions on their person. They consider, sometimes wrongly, that due to their nature they will not have problems managing inter-organizational relationships.
- A very small company Since you have three departments and one hundred employees, you want to use a linear form of organization.
- Fraudulent economic operations of the type ponzi, Although they are not organizations in their formal sense, they are related to the linear organization because of that of the only response to the immediate superiors, without taking into account what happens above or below.