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The Imperfection of Organizational

Hierarchy

Jake Toole
Section 002

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INTRODUCTION
Being so young and inexperienced, most college students havent had the
opportunity to work in an office for a corporation or company. I have found that it doesnt
really matter if you have or not, most work environments operate in a similar fashion.
One would think that the more professional a business is the better it must be organized
and run, not always the case. A common misconception that many students, including
myself, have had is that if more experienced adults do or say something, it must be
correct. One of the harsh truths we learn as we hold different jobs and gain more
experience is that just because they are in charge of you doesnt mean they always know
what theyre doing. I have held many different job titles throughout my life, everything
from projectionist, bouncer, waiter the list goes on. I have been working for a company
that we shall refer to as Business Street Corp. for two years and have witnessed many
similarities in the way things are run, the good and the bad.
Since the start of my employment, I have followed the same process that been put
in place. Technology is changing quickly and processes need to be updated because they
have been failing success for some time now. When these issues are addressed to the
managers and the other higher ups, almost nothing is being done. They either take a very
long time to adjust, or ignore it all together and the employees are suffering because of
it. When the problems and suggestions of the employees are not acted upon, in the long
run everyone will suffer. What recourse do employees have when corporate hierarchy
prevents them from having input into solving problems? After researching different
articles and journals and concepts we have studied in class, I have been able to provide

insight into this troubling real world issue.


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LITERATURE REVIEW
Every story has two sides as does every argument. Self-Actualization in the
Corporate Hierarchy by Hester and Mahoney shows a brighter side to corporate
hierarchy. It is not a completely lost cause and can work under the right conditions. It is
all about having the right people making the right choices. This is not the case at Business
Street Corp. but it does provide insight as to how it should be. The article goes on to
discuss how proper communication and reciprocation between employees and managers
creates a functional and happy working environment. Giving employees a feeling of selfactualization makes for more productivity in the workplace. Much of the research
focused on managers and higher ups of various titles. These individuals took the time to
listen to their employees needs and suggestions and did what they could to accommodate
them. These people understood the value of happy employees and the effect that has on
productivity. For these reasons, the businesses studied thrived and demonstrated complete
employee satisfaction.
The Inefficiencies of Hierarchy talks about many issues and concerns on the
inefficiencies of corporate hierarchy. Gharabaghi and Anderson-Nathe refer to various
aspects of society like education, health care, and community services, which have slow
implementation of policies and are often left to the bureaucracies. They go on to explain
that an inefficient hierarchy or organizational structure needs new direction, new
approaches, and new methods to help assist with processes.

This source provides insight into other social aspects where hierarchy fails. It
describes hierarchy in an organizational context and its effects, both good and bad, on the
organization. A negative side is needed to have comparison and to show that there are
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two sides to every story. Reading this article very accurately demonstrate the way things
are run on the network side of Business Street Corp.
Corporate Communication or Communication? Considering a McDonaldization
of Corporate Communication Hypothesis is a great real world application of the
concepts I am addressing aside from my own experience. Verhoeven goes into detail
about how most organizations are run as if they are fast food restaurants. Efficiency,
predictability, calculability, and the control of people are the main focuses of this journal.
This system is shown to be used and ineffective in many areas of work. Flaws in the
system and human error are thoroughly investigated and exposed
ANALYSIS
At one point during this past year prime example of corporate hierarchy failing at
State Street. We deal with investments, stocks, and trading mainly. One of our clients is
well known but for legal reasons we will refer to them as Silver Satchel. We have
designated servers for our clients that are where all of the digital traffics passes through,
and that includes money transfers. When one of these devices goes down or fails, we
have a back up just in case. The devices are all very old and unreliable and myself and the
other employees have said time and again that they need to be replaced while they were
still under contract. We were told by management that its a lot of work to set up a
meeting with the right people to have these contracts reviewed and have the actual server

replaced. We have no process in regards to a scenario in which both the primary and
back-up server go down. One day, after being told by managers that they will arrange the
meeting to have them replaced for the past year, both servers fail. The flow of money
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stops and absolute chaos ensues. While the managers were getting on calls with vendors
and trying to figure out who has the resources to have a replacement shipped as soon as
possible, myself and the other employees were being scolded. Executive managers and
mangers with even higher titles were on conference calls with us asking how this could
have happened and why we did not take any measures to prevent this. None of us wanted
to be the one to report the oversights of our managers for fear of being fired and or
coming off as unprofessional. The whole time we are being reminded that every second is
money lost. We were the ones at the bottom of the corporate food chain and were feeling
the heat from all of those above us. The amount of times we tried communicating to those
with the power to make changes to the process never felt it important enough to listen to
us. The incompetence of our managers and their managers caused the loss of tens of
millions of dollars.
Our text book has taught us all about social ladder, hierarchies, and stressed the
importance of communications within a business. As we went through each assignment,
there was always something that made me think of my job. I have since arranged meeting
with my managers to go over processes and set ups that myself and the rest of the
employees feel need to be updated. Whether it was out of fear for their jobs or mutual
respect they obliged. Things have been running a lot smoother now and communication
has sky rocketed as well as progress. We were once the Andys from The Devil Wears

Prada and now we have tamed Miranda and made her much better to work with in a
sense.

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CONCLUSION
A chain is only as strong as the next link. The higher up the weak link is, the more
the rest of the chain suffer. Employees will more often than not take the heat for any
major screw up because in the end they are the ones on the frontlines. Mistakes and
incidents can be prevented when everyone is on the same page. Verhoeven talks about the
idea of McDonaldization not having to be a bad thing because it can work. The
importance of success through productivity and proper organizational communication
needs to be stressed throughout the ranks of managers and advisors. Communication
brings everyone on the same page and reception is just as important as communication
itself.
When a manager does nothing to fix known issues within their department, the
department suffers. With technology advancing more and more every day, changes must
be made to protocols and processes. If things continue to be run like a fast food restaurant
without any communication or amendments to processes, failure and consequences are
inevitable. Hester and Mahoney did a wonderful job at demonstrating the rewards and
benefits that can reaped when everything runs smoothly. The fact that not all operations
have the same results demonstrate why hierarchies are not always efficient. It all depends
on the individual and how the interact with their employees and coworkers. When the
employees are happy, everyones happy and vis versa. From what I have gathered from

my research and readings from class, there is no perfect system. It all comes down to the
individual. Not just one individual in an organization, but all that are involved. Being

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open to ideas and suggestions from those around you not only benefits the organization,
but will help achieve self-actualization.

References
Dorer, Hester L., Mahoney, John M. Self-Actualization in the Corporate Hierarchy. .
North American Journal of Psychology 8.2 (2006): 397-409. Web. 6 Dec. 2015.

Gharabaghi, Kiaras, Anderson-Nathe, Ben. The Inefficiencies of Hierarchy. Child &


Youth Services 34.1 (2013): 1-4. Web. 5 Dec. 20105.

Verhoeven, Piet. Corporate Communication or McCommunication? Considering a


McDonaldization of Corporate Communication Hypothesis. Journal of
Promotional Management 21.2 (2015): 267-277. Web. 6 Dec. 2015