Chain of command

The chain of command is the official order in which authority is delegated down from top management to employees. It clarifies who is empowered to make decisions and who must be approached for permission to engage in an activity. The system is designed so that instructions are issued by management to employees, who are required to follow the mandated instructions. The perfect example of the chain of command is the military, where decision-making is concentrated at the top of the organizational structure. A strong chain of command tends to result in an efficient organization, but not necessarily an effective one, since dispersing decision-making lower in the organization is more likely to result in decision-making that can react quickly to local conditions.

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