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What is an Organogram? - Definition, Structure & Example

What is an Organogram? - Definition, Structure & Example
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  • 0:00 What Is an Organogram?
  • 1:12 Hierarchical Organizations
  • 2:45 Matrix Organograms
  • 3:31 Flat Organograms
  • 4:14 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Susan Fenner

Susan has an MBA in Management from the University of North Alabama. She teaches online and campus-based Business courses.

How can a firm visually communicate its flow of authority and information? Let's take a closer look at an organizational tool known as an organogram and how it can be used to answer the age old question, 'Who's in charge here?'

Definition of an Organogram

Ted was a little nervous about his new job. It was his dream job in a large advertising firm, and he wanted to get off to a good start. As he was unpacking the box of office supplies that had been requisitioned for him, his supervisor poked her head in the door.

'Glad to have you on board,' she said. 'This is a great place to work, and I think you're going to like it here. Did you have a chance to look at the organogram that was in the new hire packet?'

Ted froze as he felt a flush rise on his cheeks. 'Organogram? What's that?' He thought. He had carefully looked over all the paperwork in the packet, but what was this organogram she's talking about? He felt his stomach sinking. 'So much for impressing the boss. ' He thought sadly.

Poor Ted. He didn't realize that an organogram is just another name for an organizational chart. It's a diagram that shows the structure of an organization and how the various positions are related to each other. It is frequently used to show the chain of command and relative ranking of various positions in an organization or department and may include information such as the job titles, names, and areas of responsibility for the employees.

Hierachical Organograms

This organogram show a hierarchical, or ranked, relationship.

Hierarchical organogram fora business firm

It's is an example of an organogram for a manufacturing plant. The CEO is the head of the organization. Below the CEO there are four Vice Presidents, or VPs, each with a separate area of responsibility. The VPs are directly responsible to the CEO and of equal rank with each other. Below each VP are the positions they supervise. Using the example of the financial department, the Junior Accountants report to the Chief Accountant. The Chief Accountant reports to the Vice President of Finance, and the Vice President of Finance reports to the CEO.

Now, let's take a look an example of what an organogram for a college might look like.

Organogram for a college

The Board of Trustees supervises the president of the college. The president directly supervises the administrative assistant and five executive officers: provost & treasurer, dean, VP of development, VP of public affairs, and VP of human resources. Notice that the administrative assistant's position does not have any supervisory responsibilities, but each of the executive officers under the president is responsible for managing specific functions, which are listed directly below them in purple in the chart.

Note that this differs a bit from our first example. In the first example, every listing in the chart was a position in the company. In the second example of an organogram, some of the listings are positions, but under those positions are the functions that they are responsible for, not specifically the people that they supervise.

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