How Email Has Affected Organizational Complexity

Email has been used in business since about 1980. It has had a major effect on organizational complexity. In a short time, email has:

  • Flattened organizations. Multilevel hierarchies had been well-entrenched for decades.
  • Greatly compressed business cycle times. Things get done much more quickly.
  • Greatly improved the quality of decision-making, since it’s easy to exchange information.

Other factors have no doubt also contributed to these changes. But email has been the prime mover.

David Ferris and Nick Shelness

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