Presentation Details

The Fourth International Conference on Knowledge, Culture and Change in Organisations

Client Centered Organization Charts

John E. Cook.

An organization chart has a significant impact on behavior in organizations. Charts have a customary pyramidal shape with workers toward the bottom and executives toward the top representing the authority structure of the organization. Two chart failings are absence of stakeholders and poorly described relationships other than authority. This paper offers a technique to improve organization chart value.

By including stakeholder clients, charts can be more useful. Positioning clients in the center and in a ring around them are other parts of the organization close to the client. A model, such as a U.S. college, would depict students as clients with a ring of faculty, librarians, food staff, etc. that interact often with them. A second ring, farther from the client, might include academic deans, registrar, etc. The third ring would include business officers, vice presidents, etc. And a fourth ring, perhaps alone, would show the campus president. The people closest to the client would have the most focus.

The second problem related to relationships is the communications structure. A simple round chart is not enough. A three-dimensional chart in conical form with the client at the tip and rings around a transparent surface is a solution. The communication lines can connect groups either on the surface or through the center. Such charts can be applied best to organizations with a distinct client base such as students at a college, or patients in a hospital.


John E. Cook  (United States)
School of Management
SUNY Institute of Technology

Professor Cook has been associated with the School of Management since 1975. His current teaching interests are organizational behavior and human resources management. He is also interested in consumer finance, especially credit and insurance. Current research is on eldercare and corporate involvement.

  • Client
  • Stakeholder
  • Organization Chart
  • Authority

(Virtual Presentation, English)