Scalar Chain

Henri Fayol was the pioneer in the field of management. Though he lived between 1841 and 1925, he enunciated the principles of management and actively worked out these principles during the early 20th Century. In fact, this is the foundation on which management gurus build their philosophies even today.

The Scalar chain principle can be defined by understanding communication recommended in an organization. The principle of scalar chain revolves around the flow of communication from the management to the lowest rank in the company. It identifies the chain of all supervisors from the top management to the lowest ranks.

A clear line of communication is very important. The organizational objectives become difficult to achieve if the communication does not flow according to the designated path from the supervisor to the worker in the lower position. Such a proper flow of communication safeguards against the possibility of any ambiguity.

Let us understand it with the help of an example.

Suppose the company has 10 employees. If employee number 4 has to communicate with employee number 8, he/ she has to follow the scalar chain in the following fashion. The flow of information will thus take place from employee 4,5,6,7, and employee number 8. The process is simple and will avoid any ambiguity.

Though it is not a complicated process, but surely it takes time as it has to go through a four step structure. In case of emergencies, this system may not be usable and therefore may be side stepped in such cases. One of the advantages of scalar change is that it avoids chaos. Every employee knows whom to approach when there is a problem. Further it allows the top management to communicate with the entire organisation through the supervisors at each level who become responsible to execute the orders from the top. Though it should not be inflexible, yet under normal circumstances a proper chain of command allows business to run smoothly.

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