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Bridging Organization Design and Performance: Five Ways to Activate a Global Operation Model by Amy Kates, Gregory Kesler

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Chapter 4Unique Value-Adding Layers

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Layering and Complexity

It is well understood by most businesspeople that excess management layers bring additional cost and slow decision making. As a general rule, flatter organization models are more agile, more empowering, and less likely to filter information. To gain these benefits, executives often bring in one of the large consulting firms to undertake a “spans and layers” analysis1 and prescribe a specific number of levels, which often comes out around seven. These exercises can surely lead to cost reductions as management layers are reduced. But if managerial work is not redesigned as part these ...

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