What is a chain of command, how does it work and why is it important? Here is everything you need to know.
A chain of command refers to a hierarchy of people who report to one another based on their authoritative levels.
For one example, a chain of command might include an intern who reports to an employee who reports to their manager who reports to a senior manager who reports to the vice president of the company who then reports to the chief executive officer of the company.
In journalism, a writer may report to a section editor who may report to an associate or managing editor who may report to the editor in chief of the outlet. In sales, a sales representative may report to the sales manager who may report to the regional manager who may report to the national sales manager. In retail, a retail clerk may report to the store manager who may report to the owner of the retail company (if it's a small company) or who may report to the senior manager (if it's a larger company).
A chain of command may also refer to teams that report to each other. One team might have to do their job in order for the next team to elevate the project. For example, an editorial team might be working on a piece of sponsored content for a client, but they can't write the sponsored post without the client relations team who works to secure clients and determine the campaigns that will run. So the client relations team works with a client, and then that team reports to the editorial team who will write the article for publication.
There are four types of organizational structures that are common in companies — some of which use chains of command, and others that don't.
What are the four types of organizational structures?
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.
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