Staff and Line Staff. Image credit

Staff and Line Staff. Image credit

ZIMSEC O Level Business Studies Notes: Chain of Command,Line vs Staff Authority

  • Chain of command-refers to the hierarchy of authority by which order, directions and communications are passed down from the top to the bottom
  • It is shown on an organisational chart by a solid line which connects the various levels and positions within the organisation to each other
  • It shows who reports to who
  • The line shows how authority and power are held,used (wielded) and delegated from top management to every level within the organisation
  • The chain of command must be clear cut in order to be effective (Henry Fayol)
  • Line and (sometimes) Staff managers are found within the chain of command
  • Line managers are directly linked with production, offering of goods and services
  • Line authority is direct and based on the commanding position which a person occupies within the organisation structure
  • Staff managers utilise their expertise and knowledge to offer and proffer advice and assistance during production and other business operations
  • Staff authority is based on the individual’s expertise and knowledge
  • Line managers-those that make strategic plans and decisions
  • Staff managers- Those that give advice and information to line managers to that the line managers/staff can make informed decisions
  • Staff managers usually do not make decisions
  • An example of a line manager/line staff is a production supervisor, Marketing manager, Operations manager etc
  • Examples of staff authority include IT staff in a non-ICT business for example a factory, accounting etc

To access more topics go to the O Level Business Notes page.

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