Flat vs. Flexible Organization?

Flat Organizational Structures
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Michelle, USA

Flat vs. Flexible Organization?

What is the difference between a Flat Organization and a Flexible Organization?

  Henry, France

Flat and Flexible

A flat organization is typically (but not always) more flexible than an organization with many layers of managers.
Establishing a flat structure is one way (there are also other possibilities) to make an organization flexible.

  David Wilson
Manager, Canada

Characteristics of a Flexible Organization

I agree a flat organization is probably more flexible than a tall organization. A flexible organization allows for empowerment of employees (at all levels) through the devolution of authority.
In addition, a flexible organization will likely use project teams and allow employees to be assigned to more than one team (i.e. consider use of multi-disciplinary organizational work teams). Note that a flat organization may also have a fixed structure, which requires decisions to be approved by higher level supervisors or managers.
A flexible organization may allow for more timely decisions can have more economical processes. A flexible organization probably uses continuous learning, innovation and improvement planning, employee development, distributed workload and participative long-term thinking.


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