What Is the Chain of Command for a Corporation?

The chain of command for a corporation is the formal ladder of authority and responsibility within a company. The chain of command within a corporation is usually outlined by an organizational chart that connects each branch from the top of the chart to each subordinate arm. This organizational chart outlines that each person, branch or department answers to only one superior.

French engineer Henri Fayol and German sociologist Max Weber systemized the understanding of chain of command concepts in the twentieth century. Fayol's book, "General and Industrial Management" provides the insight to understanding the fourteen principles of management. The chain of command measure is necessary to establish a structure of individual authority within a business and prevent miscommunication and conflicting orders among employees and their supervisors.

The chart outlines an organization's established hierarchy. Negative issues can arise in using ƒan organizational chart when a branch, or superior, is bypassed by a subordinate, affecting the morale and effectiveness of employees. On the other hand, inflexible adherence to the chart can cause delayed communication. The organizational chart to outline a corporation's chain of command is an ancient principle that is still considered the most effective process for determining organizational responsibilities within a company.