Ladders of Authority, Status, Responsibility and Ideology: Toward a Typology of Hierarchy in Social Systems

Romme, A.G.L. (2021), Ladders of authority, status, responsibility and ideology: Toward a typology of hierarchy in social systems. Systems, 9, 20. https://doi.org/10.3390/systems9010020

11 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2021

See all articles by A. Georges L. Romme

A. Georges L. Romme

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) - Department of Industrial Engineering and Innovation Sciences

Date Written: February 9, 2021

Abstract

Hierarchy is a key characteristic of any complex system. This paper explores which notions of hierarchy are being used in the field of organization and management studies. Four distinct types of hierarchy are identified: a ladder of formal decision-making authority, a ladder of achieved status, a self-organized ladder of responsibility and an ideology-based ladder. A social mechanism-based perspective serves to define and distinguish these four types. Subsequently, the typology is further developed by comparing the four hierarchy types in terms of their tacit/explicitness, (in)transitivity and behavior- versus cognition-centeredness. This article contributes to the literature by dissecting the general metaphor of hierarchy into four different constructs and their social mechanisms, which serves to create a typology of the various ways in which complex social systems can be characterized as hierarchical. This typology can inform future research drawing on any type of hierarchy.

Keywords: Hierarchy, Authority, Status, Typology, Social system, Ideology, Responsibility, Decision-making, Self-organization

JEL Classification: M10, M14, P12, P13

Suggested Citation

Romme, A. Georges L., Ladders of Authority, Status, Responsibility and Ideology: Toward a Typology of Hierarchy in Social Systems (February 9, 2021). Romme, A.G.L. (2021), Ladders of authority, status, responsibility and ideology: Toward a typology of hierarchy in social systems. Systems, 9, 20. https://doi.org/10.3390/systems9010020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3823231

A. Georges L. Romme (Contact Author)

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) - Department of Industrial Engineering and Innovation Sciences ( email )

Den Dolech 2
Eindhoven
5600 MB Eindhoven
Netherlands

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
3
Abstract Views
11
PlumX Metrics