From Hierarchy to Network
The organization of individuals has greatly changed over time from a hierarchal system to a more flat and network style. One definition, according to Webster, for an organization is “an administrative and functional structure.” Meanwhile, Webster refers to a network in one part of its definition as “an interconnected or interrelated chain, group, or system.” Separating these two definitions is the beginning of defining the former means of communication from the modern. Early organizations represented an organization with a functional structure having a hierarchal set-up to help manage the components. New media takes on a network approach opposing this definition by interconnecting its parts to collaborate together as opposed to working through a chain of command. Networks represent a much more complex system when compared to a hierarchy. From the introduction of organizational charts to the creation of the Internet and social media, our society has adapted to the changing styles of organizing. As the way we communicate changes, our society and means of organization also alters. Clay Shirky’s book titled Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations discusses the origins of organization and the impact of new technologies.
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