A series of forces such as global competition, technology revolution, new competitors, and changing tastes--are creating outcomes that include more uncertainty, more choices, and more complexity. The result is that the organizational winners of today and tomorrow will have to be responsive, smaller, flatter, and oriented toward adding value through people, which employees do not identify with separate departments, but instead interact with whomever they must to get the job done (Dessler).
Instead of the familiar pyramid-shaped organization with its seven or more layers of management, flat organizations with just three or four levels prevail. Many companies have already cut the management layers from a dozen to six or fewer, and therefore the number of managers. As the remaining managers are left with more people to supervise, they are less able to meddle in the work of their subordinates, who thus have more authority.
Empowered Decision Making Jobs today require constant learning, higher-order thinking, and much more worker commitment.
This calls for more employee empowerment, and less of a 9-to-5 mentality. Experts like Karl Albrecht argue for turning the typical organization upside-down (Albrecht). They say today's organization should put the customer--not the CEO--on top, to emphasize that every move the company makes must be aimed at satisfying customer needs. This in turn requires empowering the front-line employees--the front desk clerks at the hotel, the cabin attendants on the plane, and the assemblers at the factory--with the authority to respond quickly to these needs. The main purpose of managers in this "upside down" organization is to serve the front-line employees, to see that they have what they need to do their jobs, and thus to serve the customers. They're not simply there to oversee what workers do and to control their actions.
Let us evaluate the three main factors that contribute...