Hierarchy and Responsibility
Hierarchy is one way in which organisations organise that there are communication addresses for the discussion about decisions. If ‘it’ simply decided itself, there would be no chance of discussing the decision – with whom? Therefore, leaders, bosses, superiors, managers, owners, masters, directors or their respective boards, in which they find themselves, are made available for the consequences of decisions. You can make them ‘responsible’.
However, in this the decision-maker is always over-estimated, because the processing of information, which lies in a decision, far exceeds the capabilities of one individual person or one board of directors! This over-estimation impedes the decision-making in organisations, particularly when they are risky. The greater the danger is of being accused about negative consequences of current decisions, the more probable it is that difficult decisions are made in such a way that it is inconspicuous who made them.
Hierarchy reduces and aggravates this problem. Therein lies one of its very important functions. The problem of avoiding responsibility is reduced, because hierarchies should and must decide, i.e. it is expected. Therefore, it will be more difficult to circumvent it. The problem is aggravated, as decisions, good as well as bad, are highly relevant to one’s career. The pressure to decide ‘correctly’ therefore grows, which usually has an extremely unfavourable effect on decisions.