According to Fairtlough’s definition, Hierarchy refers to rules by a single, supreme ruler, who controls a society or an organisation. The supreme ruler passes authority onto a series of lesser rulers, and so on through a pyramid (Fairtlough 2005, p.96). In this synopsis, I will mainly emphasise the advantages of hierarchy.

In the seventeenth century, there is a claim that the only way to avoid the dangers of civil war was to have a single powerful ruler who would stop all in-fighting. This claim has been widely applied in organisational contents. In other words, hierarchy has the potential for preventing chaos.

The next advantage is that hierarchy produces discipline and order. It is claimed that only with hierarchy we can get the benefits that come from well-trained people, who meticulously stick to laid-down procedures.

Leadership is also an advantage claimed to be available only through hierarchy because leadership can only come from the top.

A further advantage claimed for hierarchy is motivation. Climbing the ladder gives people something to strive for. Although only a few can get to the top, everyone makes great efforts to get there because of the big rewards.

Finally, another advantage of hierarchy is clarity or certainty. There is clarity about who we are. Each individual know his/her present rank, with its responsibilities. Hierarchy helps to define a personal identity. (Fairtlough 2005, p.39).


Fairtlough, G 2005, Three Ways of Getting Things Done: Hierarchy, Heterarchy & Responsible Autonomy in Organisations, Triarchy Press, Dorset.