Scalar chain refers to hierarchical
arrangement an organization must have.
Hierarchy is an order of importance with in-built levels of importance.
In an organization, all are important, beginning from a low level employee to
the managing director with each one assigned with some task of importance.
Hierarchy does involve progressive levels of
authority implying with certainty progressive stages of reporting. It only
means an employee knows where he is in the organization and to whom he should
report immediately above him. This reporting system carries much weight in the
organization since effective communication and sustained business are mutually
interdependent. Reporting system clearly defines path of communication under
Fayol was particular that the scalar of chain
must be strictly adhered to in any organization whenever information has to be
passed on to the superior authority and the chain of command must not be
broken. The point can be clarified with
the help of a popular diagram.
Under normal circumstances, if D has to
communicate with G, he has to follow the path shown in the diagram; he must go
up through C to A and then go down to G through E and F.
But the Gang Plank concept permits D to
communicate with G directly under emergency.
If the regular path is followed even during emergency, by the time, the
information reaches G, it would have become too late to remedy the situation
through proper action. The decision will be reached a day late and a dollar
The limitation of the
scalar chain was set right with the concept of Gang Plank. According to this concept,
two executives of the organization of different departments at the same level
can communicate directly in case of emergency, so that speedy decisions and
actions could be taken. In case of the above example, if employee ‘C’ has to
contact employee ‘G’, he can easily and directly communicate the information to
‘G’ using this Gang plank (‘C’‘G’). This reduces a lot of time and helps in
effective performance. In other words, it points to a very important fact in
the process of management; there is flexibility when needed. The right action
at the right time in the right way is the primary goal of the process of
management. And Gang Plank reflects the right insight into the administrative strategies.