Organizations can be described as having flat or tall structures depending on the number of levels in the hierarchy, although there is no definitive number of levels that an organizational structure needs to have before it is deemed tall or flat. As organizations grow through employing more people, there is a tendency for the number of management levels to increase, and hence a taller structure emerges. Critics argue that, over time, this results in organizations possessing overly tall, cumbersome structures that inhibit flexibility. Consequently, a contemporary trend has been to delayer the hierarchy, resulting in a flatter structure.
Subjects: Human Resource Management.