Corporate Hierarchy

DEFINITION of 'Corporate Hierarchy'

The arrangement of individuals within a corporation according to power, status and job function. In a public company, usually the board of directors will be at the top, followed by the CEO, who may also be the chairman of the board of directors as well as the president. Below the CEO will be other C-level executives, such as the CFO, CIO and COO, followed by upper management (vice-presidents/managers/directors), then the employees in each department who are further broken down into levels of experience and authority.

BREAKING DOWN 'Corporate Hierarchy'

Each company's hierarchy will vary from this general structure. Corporate hierarchy affects the employees' ability to advance within the company and also impacts corporate culture. Corporations can have hierarchies that are considered more vertical, where the power comes from the top down, or a more horizontal hierarchy, where power and responsibilty are more evenly spread across the firm.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Corporate Culture

    The beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company's employees ...
  2. Power-Distance Index - PDI

    An index developed by Dutch sociologist Geert Hofstede that measures ...
  3. Chairman

    An executive elected by a company's board of directors that is ...
  4. Organizational Structure

    Explicit and implicit institutional rules and policies designed ...
  5. Board Of Directors

    An appointed or elected body or committee that has overall responsibility ...
  6. C-Suite

    A widely-used slang term used to collectively refer to a corporation's ...
Related Articles
  1. Fundamental Analysis

    The Basics Of Corporate Structure

    CEOs, CFOs, presidents and vice presidents: learn how to tell the difference.
  2. Insurance

    Evaluating The Board Of Directors

    Corporate structure can tell you a lot about a company's potential. Learn more here.
  3. Markets

    How To Efficiently Read An Annual Report

    Learn how to read between the lines and decipher the actual condition of a company.
  4. Executive Compensation

    How Restricted Stocks and RSUs Are Taxed

    Many firms pay a portion of their employees’ compensation in the form of restricted stock or restricted stock units.
  5. Personal Finance

    Don't Sign That Non-Compete Without Reading This

    Non-compete contracts aren't just for high-level execs these days. How to protect yourself if your employer – or prospective employer – insists you sign one.
  6. Economics

    Why Enron Collapsed

    Enron’s collapse is a classic example of greed gone wrong.
  7. Investing Basics

    Corporate Dividend Payouts And the Retention Ratio

    An investor can use dividend payout and retention ratios to gauge an investment’s possible return, and compare it to other stocks.
  8. Investing News

    How Banning Buybacks Would Help the Economy

    Stock buybacks are popular, but they're not helping the economy. Here's what would happen if they were banned.
  9. Economics

    What Does Triage Mean?

    The term triage refers to the practice of prioritizing work or customers into different levels so that the most urgent issues are handled first.
  10. Credit & Loans

    Just Hired? How to Navigate Your New Job Benefits

    Being new at a workplace is nerve-wracking enough. Here's what to do first after you've been hired to better navigate complicated benefits plans.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Can LLCs have employees?

    A limited liability corporation (LLC) can have an unlimited number of employees. An employee is defined as any individual ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Do flexible spending accounts (FSA) funds roll over?

    An individual can utilize an employer’s cafeteria plan of employee benefits to establish a flexible spending account (FSA). ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What protections are in place for a whistleblower?

    Whistleblowers can play a critical role in ensuring the compliance, safety, honesty and legal fairness of governments and ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How do modern companies assess business risk?

    Before a business can assess or mitigate business risk, it must first identify probable or likely risks to its bottom line. ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Why has emphasis on corporate governance grown in the 21st century?

    Corporate governance refers to operational practices, management protocols, and other governing rules or principles by which ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What should a whistleblower do if their employer retaliates?

    Although specifically prohibited by employment law, employer retaliation against whistleblowers for exposing employers' wrongdoings ... Read Full Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Socially Responsible Investment - SRI

    An investment that is considered socially responsible because of the nature of the business the company conducts. Common ...
  2. Inverted Yield Curve

    An interest rate environment in which long-term debt instruments have a lower yield than short-term debt instruments of the ...
  3. Presidential Election Cycle (Theory)

    A theory developed by Yale Hirsch that states that U.S. stock markets are weakest in the year following the election of a ...
  4. Super Bowl Indicator

    An indicator based on the belief that a Super Bowl win for a team from the old AFL (AFC division) foretells a decline in ...
  5. Flight To Quality

    The action of investors moving their capital away from riskier investments to the safest possible investment vehicles. This ...
  6. Discouraged Worker

    A person who is eligible for employment and is able to work, but is currently unemployed and has not attempted to find employment ...
Trading Center