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Wednesday, 5 September 2012


Scalar chain is the formal line of authority which moves from highest to lowest rank in a straight line. This chain specifies the route through which the information is to be communicated to the desired location/person.

Fayol emphasized that every information in the organization must flow according to this chain to facilitate clear communication of orders of the superiors and feelings of the subordinates. This chain must be strictly followed in the organization. Fayol also stated that there should be no overlapping of steps during the communication process.

Fayol’s Ladder: This principle was explained by Fayol with the help of a ladder diagram which showed the flow of information.

For example, in an organization there are employees A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, at various posts. If employee ‘C’ has to communicate with employee ‘G’ using the scalar chain, the route should be like C4B4A4F4G. Thus there will be four steps for the information to reach from employee ‘C’ to the employee ‘G’.

Due to more clear system of authority and communication, problems can be solved easily, also the accountable person can be held quickly without any confusion and delay. Though this principle is very effective and clear, but it consumes a lot of time. In case of emergency, information will take a lot of time to reach the desired position which may delay the action as well as decision.

Gang plank:

For overcoming this limitation of scalar chain, fayol introduced the concept of ‘Gang Plank’. According to this concept, two executives of the organization of different department 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’4‘G’). This reduces a lot of time and helps in effective performance.

Positive impacts of this principle:
  • Clear communication of information;
  • Better relation among employees;
  • Systematic communication in the organization; and
  • Faster solution to organizational problems.

Consequences of violation of this principle:
  • Bitterness in the relation of employees because of ignoring the close supervisors.
  • Improper communication of information;
  • Difficulty in finding the responsible person.


  1. Great Work. Please share More Principles of Managements by Fayol.
    i.e, Principle of Order, Equity,initiative,Esprit De Corps, stability of tenure. Thank You.

  2. Please write on "Dimensions of bussiness environment" for class 12th