File route conduct


Senior Member
Usually in public offices, a file( which is bunch of papers on certain request or query) is circulated from the lowest clerk up to superiormost officer who gives his final order. The file traverses through a chain of many increasingly superior officers. Each officer records his observations and suggestions on the file. The final authority considers all the notings (of all ) before he gives his orders. It sometimes happens that a subordinate officer bypasses the immediate superior and circulates the file to the next higher authority at the instruction of the superior authority. It is a connivance between No.1 and No.3 to ignore the N0.2. What are the different terms for such irregularity ( like 'bypassing' or 'subversion of process' etc). It should be a very effective expression please.

Similarly, if a superior officer willfully ignores or despises (or shows a kind of contempt on a subordinate), what is called?
  • JamesM

    Senior Member
    I'm not sure if I know the actual terms for these things, Dr. Appalayya. I would call the first behavior "ignoring (or subverting) the chain of command" or "failure to follow the chain of command". Informally, I've heard it called "cutting someone out of the loop", as if communication occurs in a circle or "loop" and the person being bypassed is being taken out of the loop of the communication. It's also informally called "going over your boss' head."

    The second instance does not seem similar to me at all. We have a few legal phrases that are used in the U.S. regarding situations like these. One of them is "creating a hostile work environment" which is a valid basis for a lawsuit, if proven to be an accurate accusation. That covers many things, though, besides the direct superior treating a report (a person who works for him) with contempt. I don't know if there is a more specific phrase.

    I imagine a Human Resources person (formerly known as a Personnel person) would have the answers for these questions. If no one else comes up with anything, I have a friend who specializes in Human Resources. I could call her and ask what it is called.

    [edit]Thinking about this a bit more, I believe I would call the first behavior "deliberately circumventing the established approval process". That's more specific to the behavior, since "ignoring the chain of command" can apply to many situations.


    Occasional Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I'm assuming that #1 is highest in this hierarchy.

    I'm not familiar with #1 deliberately approaching #3 to leave out #2 except in very unusual circumstances where there is a conspiracy to harass/bully.

    #3 going directly to #1 is going over #2's head (see JamesM) or going round #2.
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