An organizational chart (often called organization chart or organigram(me) or organogram(me)) is a diagram that shows the structure of an organization and the relationships and relative ranks of its parts and positions/jobs. The term is also used for similar diagrams, for example ones showing the different elements of a field of knowledge or a group of languages. The French Encyclopédie had one of the first organizational charts of knowledge in general.Template:Fact

Overview Edit

An organizational chart of a company usually shows the managers and sub-workers who make up an organization. It also shows the relationships between the organization's staff members which can be one of the following:

  • Line - direct relationship between superior and subordinate.
  • Lateral - relationship between different departments on the same hierarchical level.
  • Staff - relationship between a managerial assistant and other areas. The assistant will be able to offer advice to a line manager. However, they have no authority over the line manager actions.
  • Functional - relationships between specialist positions and other areas. The specialist will normally have authority to insist that a line manager implements any of their instructions.

In many large companies the organization chart can be large and incredibly complicated and is therefore sometimes dissected into smaller charts for each individual department within the organization.

There are three different types of organization charts:

Limitations of an organizational chartEdit

There are several limitations with organizational charts:

  • It only shows 'formal relationships' and tells nothing of the pattern of human (social) relationships which develop.
  • It very quickly becomes out-of-date, especially in large organizations which change their staff regularly.
  • When starting a business, or when changing from one organizational structure to another, it's appropriate that owners consider advantages and disadvantages of each structure in meeting business, personal and family goals.
  • The best structure for one type of business may not be the best for another. The best structure for a new business may not be suitable as the business expands.

Example of an organizational chartEdit

The following is an example of a simple hierarchical organizational chart:


An example of a line relationship in this chart would be between the general and the two colonels. These two colonels are directly responsible to the general.

An example of a lateral relationship in this chart would be between "Sergeant A", and "Sergeant B" who both work on level and both report to the "Captain A".

Drawing organizational chartsEdit

There are a number of software products that can be used to create organizational charts. OrgPlus ,Microsoft Visio, Microsoft PowerPoint, and SmartDraw are common tools. For Mac OS X users there is OmniGraffle. Free software options include Kivio for Linux and Dia for most operating systems. There are also dedicated organizational charting products created by Nakisa, Ingentis, Acquire, HumanConcepts, TIMETOACT, Cezanne Software and PeopleBoard that allow companies to create organizational charts by connecting to SAP, PeopleSoft and Oracle ERP systems. Cogmap is a free web site that allows users to create public or private organization charts on-line.

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