Line Organisation

Line Organisation

Line Organisation

This form of organisation has several names like Vertical Organisation, Scalar Organisation, Military Type Organisation or Departmental Organisation. This is the oldest and most popular form of organisation. It creates a chain of command, which allows the flow of authority downwards, from the top management to the subordinates. In other words, the highest official commands his next junior official who passes the directions to his subordinates, until it reaches the lowest level in a straight line.

An employee under line organisation gets promotion or demotion only on the backing of his immediate senior official and no employee can come into direct contact with the management without the medium of his immediate senior officer. In this way, employees at the same level can neither give orders to each other nor receive any commands.


  1. All commands and directions flow downwards, from the top management to the lower level.
  2. Directions are always received from the same executive or officer.
  3. Commands are received from the immediate superior.
  4. The number of subordinates working under each executive is fixed.
  5. The various employees in this form of organisation are joined like a chain for the fulfilment of similar objectives.

Merits of a Line Organisation

  1. Quick Decision-Making

    Under this kind of organisation, the rights and responsibilities of a job are laid on a single person, which makes decision-making quicker and easier.

  2. Fixed Liability

    Each person in this organisation has a fixed liability, thus he has the knowledge of the extent of his accountability. Due to this, no official can transfer his own liabilities to another.

  3. Punishment to Offender

    Since the responsibilities under this system are fixed, it becomes, easier to pin out the offender, if any and punish him.

  4. Control and Discipline

    Since commands are received by one person, that exists complete control and discipline, among the employees. The discipline here can be compared with that in the army.
    That is why, it is also called a Military Type Organisation.

  5. Work with Devotion

    Each individual performs his best with devotion and hard work because his promotion depends on his! performance.

Demerit of Line Organisation

  1. Lack of Coordination

    Each head of a department or division has knowledge of the working policies of their own departments and possesses no direct information on the working of other divisions. This makes the coordination of activities of different divisions difficult.

  2. Lack of Cooperation and Group Thinking

    The line organisation gives undue importance to the top executives which put an end to group thinking and cooperation among the employees.

  3. Dependence on Few Persons

    The success of the line organisation depends on the abilities of a few powerful officials only. The absence or death of any of them results in a major setback to the whole organisation.

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