Workplace Command Level

Different Types of Workplace Command Levels

Scalar chain

I have never noticed the different types of command levels in a workplace, but quite recently I visited an office while I was doing research. I spent almost an entire day at the office and met different workers. I interacted with them and asked questions; it was not my intent, but I noticed that they had people in different levels in this office. This aroused my curiosity and I researched the chain of command so as to understand the dynamics of this particular office.

My first observation was how each subordinate reported to one superior and that each individual had a role crucial to the success of the company. They exercised Henri Fayol’s scalar chain principle, hence establishing the company’s hierarchy. Every company or business has different numbers of levels; in this particular office they had four command levels. On the top of the hierarchy is the publisher, editor in chief, managing editor, and lastly, the writers.

First and foremost we have the publisher; he or she is the most senior person in the office. He oversees the running of the company. No matter the size of the company, he has a lot of decisions to make to ensure the business runs smoothly. He decides what articles would attract a large audience and what will sell the most. The publisher manages profit and loss, and has the final say on recruitment; he also handles complaints from the public, and he shoulders all legal responsibilities. Managing the payroll is his responsibility, as well as firing staff.

Next in the hierarchy is the editor in chief; she reports to the publisher. She is the top editor in the company and is responsible for all content approved for publishing in the company. As part of her role she is involved in budgeting and oversees the day-to-day management of the company. During social and business meetings it is her sole responsibility to present publications from the company. On some occasions she can write or edit content, though it is not her sole responsibility to do the editing. When content is sent to her for approval the editing has already been done, but she has to go through the content again since she will be held responsible.

The third in the chain of command is the managing editor. I noticed that in this office he is given the nickname ‘man on the ground.’ I deduced that the name came about since he is the one that oversees the day-to-day operations of the company. At certain times he writes a column or an editorial, and he also does content editing on the writers’ work that is submitted to him. The managing editor acts as a supervisor to ensure that the writing staff works with diligence. The managing editor can also represent the editor in chief in community meetings in case she cannot free herself to be there.

Lastly, but not the least of importance, we have the writers, who each have a different task. They were grouped according to the content they worked on; for instance, I met with the academic writers and the special interest group. They conduct research on what topic they are given and produce a paper on the content, which they send to the managing editor. They also trained the recruits assigned to their teams.

This experience left me with more questions than answers and I now am quite intrigued about how the scalar chain works, no matter if I visit a company, factory, business, or even the mall.

References (2012). Article writing: types of articles and writing techniques for each. Retrieved from:

Rogers, T. (n.d.). What editors do. Retrieved from: