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Shedding a tier: flattening organisational structures and employee empowerment

Loraine Powell (Principal Lecturer in Leadership and Management, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, UK)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Article publication date: 1 February 2002


Over the past decade delayering and horizontal management structures have been adopted in both business and education. Their impact, however, on senior and junior staff is less well understood. Flatter organisations offer a new set of management actions; more teamwork, less bureaucracy, better communications, opportunities for professional development and greater job satisfaction. The effectiveness of this change critically depends on the attitudes and perceptions of the people working in flatter organisations. Do they recognise this cultural as well as organisational change? Do employees feel more empowered? This explanatory survey of perceptions of staff working in flatter organisations focuses on: climate, job meaningfulness, communications, work intensity and personal motivation. The findings are that old attitudes persist and an investment in changing the culture is required in order to maximise employee empowerment in new structures.



Powell, L. (2002), "Shedding a tier: flattening organisational structures and employee empowerment", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 16 No. 1, pp. 54-59.




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