Apr 21, 2005

Women, centralised decision making and CEOs

Rob at BusinessPundit wonders if the rise of women through the corporate world will kill the CEO.

His reasons:

The command and control hierarchy is already dying in business, and the "one person on top" mindset is going as well. There's just too much to do in large companies. One person can't keep up. .....Recent organizational behavior research has shown that women form groups that are more egalitarian and less hierarchical. It makes sense to me, as my primary observation of the women I've worked with is that they strive to build consensus more than men do. So that raises the question... as more women study business and rise through the corporate ranks, will it accelerate the death of the CEO as the commander in chief?

I want to nod my head vigorously when I read this, but something holds me back. The organization is still not a community, and when Wall Street and shreholders want people to be accountable, there will still be one head to roll ! It would be important to remember that the mental model driving organizations is that of the army, where one person is finally in charge.

But the question that Rob raises does mean that the command and control hierarchy is heading for a steady decline, at least in complex markets and that have complex internal structures. How that influences office politics would be great to see evolve !