Information Technologies and the Corporate Structure

Information Technologies and the Corporate Structure

A conventional (Fordist) corporate structure leans on a hierarchical organization, compartmentalizing the decision-thinking process. Decisions and information move vertically between the levels of the hierarchy. This structure is usually contained within the same building for a small to medium-sized corporation, over several floors when required. Managers usually have a direct physical contact with the employees under their supervision. Large corporations have regional offices replicating a similar hierarchy.

With globalization and information and communication technologies (ICT), a networked organizational structure (Post-Fordist) can emerge. A wider array of telecommunication services supports its cohesion. Proximity and direct contacts, at least for mundane tasks, are no longer a priority, which confers flexibility in the organization and its locations. As a result, some tasks can be relocated elsewhere, either in different regions/countries (offshoring; A), or within the same metropolitan area (offsite, such as in suburban offices or a home; B).