Information Technologies and the Corporate Structure

Information Technologies and the Corporate Structure

A conventional (Fordist) corporate structure leans on an hierarchical organization, where the decision-thinking process is compartmentalized. Decisions and information move vertically between the levels of the hierarchy. For a small to medium-sized corporation, this structure is usually contained within the same building, 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. Its cohesion is supported by a wider array of telecommunication services. 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 (suburban offices or a home; B).