Company Reporting Structure

by Maxwell Wallace; Updated September 26, 2017

A company reporting structure is a hierarchy of administration within an organization or company used for the dissemination of bureaucratic, company and staff-related communication. A company’s reporting structure is often reflective of its chain of command. There are numerous types of reporting structures in use today.

Heirarchy

Individuals or groups at the lower levels of a reporting structure are under the direction of the group or individual above them. The individual or group at the top of a reporting structure answers only to itself or equal members. This concept has roots in the monarchial structures of government found in early human civilizations.

Delegation of Supervision

In a company reporting structure, supervision is often delegated from the top of the reporting structure downward. Vice- presidents report to CEOs or presidents at the top of the structure, while “mid-level” executives report to vice-presidents. Mid-level executives often have a team of managers under their supervision.

Delegation of Communication

Similarly, company communication and reporting travels up a similar pyramid. Low-level employees report to their direct superiors to whom they are directly responsible. Their productivity, concerns and performance evaluations are brought to the attention of the executive management level, then to vice presidents and upward to the chief executive officer (CEO). In some structures, the CEO is responsible to a board of shareholders.

Tall vs. Flat

In a “tall” reporting structure, multiple levels lead to smaller groups of people reporting to and under the influence of numerous more powerful groups above them. The inherent risk is an increase in bureaucracy and breakdown in the flow of communication. In “flat” company reporting structures, management levels are not properly defined, leading to confusion in order and responsibility.

Dual Reporting Structures

In a dual or multi-faceted reporting structure, two hierarchies work synonymously under the umbrella of one corporate entity. For example, a reporting structure at the production level of a business could work in unison with an administrative body geared with controlling the goods produced.

About the Author

Maxwell Wallace has been a professional freelance copywriter since 1999. His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications. An avid surfer, Wallace enjoys writing about travel and outdoor activities throughout the world. He holds a Bachelor of Science in communication and journalism from Suffolk University, Boston.