Chain of Command

Knowledge Center


Description of Chain of Command. Explanation.


  1. Summary
  2. Forum
  3. Expert Tips
  4. Resources



12manage is the worldwide knowledge network on management.

By signing up you get full access to all knowledge centers and discussion forums, including Chain of Command.

Why register?

Definition Chain of Command. Description.

The Chain of Command is a metaphor for the way power is passed down through a business organization. The term is supposed to have a military background.

Military personnel give orders to only those directly below them in the chain of command and receive orders from only those directly above. A soldier who has difficulty carrying out an order is likely to be disciplined for not observing the chain of command if he skips the officer who is in direct command of him and directly appeals to a higher-ranked officer in his chain of command.

The concept of chain of command implies that higher rank alone does not entitle a person to give commands. If an officer needs something from a common soldier of another unit, he is generally expected to approach him via his officer, who then contacts the soldier along his own chain of command.

Henri Fayol in his 14 Principles of Management, said that managers in a company normally exist in a chain of command that is hierarchical. Authority and responsibility are delegated down the chain of command and become less the lower one goes in the organization. Lower level managers have the responsibility of informing those senior in the Chain of Command of current information regarding task accomplishment.

Chain of Command Forum (2 topics) Help
To get access to this forum, you need to be a member: Please log in... | Register
  Problems with Chain of Command
One problem with this management principle is that common employees at times have ideas that can work positively for an organisation, but they withhold this information from the person they report to because they are of the view (and most times right...

What is Chain of Command? Definition

The continuous line of authority that extents from upper level of an organization to the lower levels of the organization which clarifies who reports to who.
According to Henry Fayol, the more clear cut this chain is, the more effective t...
Start a new discussion: Please log in... | Register

Chain of Command Special Interest Group

Special Interest Group


Expert Tips - Chain of Command Premium
Discover and utilize expert tips per method: Please log in... | Register

Resources - Chain of Command Premium
Access presentations, news and videos on each method: Please log in... | Register

Types and Functions of Organizational Communication

Communication Functions, Communication Structures, Network Organization, Communication Networks


Chain Of Command


Chain Of Command


Chain Of Command


Chain Of Command

Compare also: Top-down Approach  |  Organizational Configurations  |  Covert Leadership  |  Art of War (Sun Tzu)  |  14 Principles of Management Fayol  |  Organization Chart

Sponsor this knowledge center

Special Interest Group Leader
Expert? Become our Chain of Command SIG Leader.

All you need to know about management

12manage for:

Management Smart Card

12manage in:

The perfect souvenir for your education program


Return to Management Hub: Change & Organization  |  Communication & Skills  |  Human Resources  |  Leadership

More on Management  |  Return to Management Dictionary  | 


This ends our Chain of Command summary and forum.

Copyright 2015 12manage - The Executive Fast Track. V14.0 - Last updated: 10-10-2015. All names tm by their owners.