‘Command and control’ is not to do with being ‘bossy’. It is a logic about how to run an organisation. Command and control thinking assumes:

  • Top-down structural hierarchy
  • Separation of decision-making from work’
  • Work designed in functional specialisms
  • Control through financial targets and budgets
  • People to do as they should.

It then follows that work is controlled by attention to output – monitoring of numbers, standards or specifications.

It is a logic which guarantees sub-optimisation. Its worst feature is that it damages morale.

Originally designed to create systems of mass production, command and control, as a management philosophy, must be abandoned. If it is not, the creative anarchy of the workforce will never be unleashed.

Flexibility and responsiveness can only be achieved through people.