flatter power hierarchies


Senior Member
Persian - Iran

In the following context, what does “flatter” mean?

To address their moral distress, health care workers should discuss complex or unfamiliar clinical situations with colleagues and seek assistance with difficult decisions. Personal ways to help relieve distress include mindfulness meditation, cognitive reappraisal, and yoga. Health care institutions have important responsibilities to prevent and mitigate moral distress by establishing a culture of open communication, speaking up, mutual respect, and flatter power hierarchies. Root causes should be addressed, such as a lack of an effective forum to discuss end-of-life decisions.

Source: Resolving Ethical Dilemmas: A Guide for Clinicians by Bernard Lo, 6th edition
  • tunaafi

    Senior Member
    English - British (Southern England)
    It means more flat, less steep. The suggestion is that there should be less (vertical) distance between the top managers and the ordinary workers.


    Senior Member
    UK English
    It's a common management concept.

    Unlike the traditional hierarchy which typically sees one way communication and everyone at the top with all the information and power; a "flatter" structure seeks to open up the lines of communication and collaboration while removing layers within the organization.
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