The Most Popular Type of Organizational Chart: A Comprehensive Ranking

Choose the type you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Jun 16, 2023 10:18 (Updated on Dec 1, 2023 13:14)
Step right up and join the great debate on StrawPoll as we dive into the world of organizational charts! We've gathered the top contenders and it's time for you to cast your vote in our latest ranking: "What is the most popular type of organizational chart?" Will it be the classic hierarchical chart with its clear chain of command, or perhaps the sleek and flexible matrix chart? Maybe the circular chart with its interconnected web of relationships will take the lead? Don't see your favorite? Don't worry – you can suggest a missing option to make sure it gets the recognition it deserves! Be a part of this thrilling conversation, cast your vote, and watch as the rankings unfold. Your voice matters, so let's uncover the true champion of organizational charts together!

What Is the Most Popular Type of Organizational Chart?

  1. 1
    This is the most common type of chart that shows the chain of command, reporting relationships, and levels of authority in a traditional top-down structure. It is suitable for large and complex organizations with clear lines of communication and decision-making.
    The Hierarchical organizational chart is a type of organizational chart that represents the structure and hierarchy of an organization in a top-down manner. It shows the relationships between different levels of management and their corresponding subordinates. Each level of management is represented by a horizontal row, with the highest level positioned at the top and subsequent levels following below.
    • Hierarchy: It illustrates the hierarchical structure of an organization, depicting the levels from top management to lower-level employees.
    • Division of Labor: It shows the division of responsibilities and tasks among the different levels of management and employees.
    • Chain of Command: It clearly defines the reporting relationships and the flow of authority within the organization.
    • Clear Communication: It facilitates clear and effective communication within the organization, as each level is aware of their superiors and subordinates.
    • Accountability: It establishes accountability by making it clear who is responsible for each level and department.
  2. 2
    This chart combines functional and project-based structures to promote collaboration, flexibility, and diverse skills. It is useful for companies that work on multiple projects simultaneously and require cross-functional teams.
    A Matrix organizational chart is a type of organizational structure that combines elements of both functional and product-based departmentalization. It creates a grid-like structure where employees have dual reporting relationships - to both a functional manager and a product/service manager.
    • Dual Reporting Relationships: Employees report to both functional and product/service managers.
    • Cross-Functional Collaboration: Encourages collaboration and information sharing between departments.
    • Flexibility: Allows for flexibility and quick adaptation to changes in the business environment.
    • Specialization: Employees can specialize in multiple areas of expertise.
    • Efficiency: Enables efficient resource allocation and utilization.
  3. 3
    This chart eliminates or reduces the number of hierarchical levels and empowers employees to make decisions and take ownership of their work. It is suitable for startups, small businesses, or creative industries that value autonomy, innovation, and agility.
    A flat organizational chart is a type of organizational chart that emphasizes a decentralized and non-hierarchical structure. In a flat organization, there are usually few or no levels of middle management, resulting in a more direct line of communication and decision-making process among employees.
    • Decentralization: Emphasizes a decentralized structure with fewer levels of management.
    • Non-hierarchical: Lack of strict hierarchy or chain of command.
    • Direct communication: Encourages direct and open communication among team members.
    • Simplified decision-making: Faster decision-making process due to reduced bureaucracy and middle management layers.
    • Employee empowerment: Promotes employee autonomy and empowerment by minimizing managerial control.
  4. 4
    This chart groups employees into divisions or departments based on geographical regions, products, services, or customers. It is useful for companies with diverse operations that need to balance centralization and decentralization.
    The Divisional organizational chart is a type of organizational chart that organizes employees into separate divisions based on product lines, geographic locations, or other functional areas.
    • Organization type: Divisional
    • Purpose: Enhancing decentralization, specialization, and focus within different divisions or business units.
    • Structure: Divided into multiple self-contained divisions or business units.
    • Hierarchy: Each division has its own functional heads and may have its own support functions like HR and finance.
    • Autonomy: Each division has a certain degree of autonomy with responsibility for its own success/failure.
  5. 5
    This chart focuses on teams as the primary unit of work and communication, rather than individual roles or departments. It is suitable for companies that value collaboration, cross-functional skills, and agile methodologies.
    The team-based organizational chart is a type of organizational chart that emphasizes collaboration and teamwork within an organization. It aims to promote cross-functional collaboration and eliminate hierarchies by organizing employees into self-directed teams.
    • Collaboration Focus: Promotes collaboration and teamwork
    • Cross-Functional Organization: Encourages cross-functional collaboration
    • Eliminates Hierarchies: Minimizes traditional top-down hierarchies
    • Self-Directed Teams: Empowers teams to make decisions and manage their work
    • Flexibility: Adapts well to changes and can be easily restructured
  6. 6
    This chart uses a circular or radial layout to show the interdependence and interconnectedness of different roles and functions. It is suitable for companies that value holistic thinking, non-linear processes, and collaboration.
    The circular organizational chart is a type of organizational chart that represents the hierarchical structure of an organization in a circular format. It visually displays the positions and relationships between different departments or individuals within the organization.
    • Format: Circular
    • Hierarchy: Top-down
    • Organization Type: Traditional
    • Visualization Style: Circular layout
    • Department Representation: Concentric circles
  7. 7
    This chart maps out the relationships and connections between different individuals, groups, and organizations. It is suitable for companies that operate in complex and dynamic environments, such as NGOs, social networks, or ecosystems.
    The network organizational chart visualizes the relationships and connections between different individuals or departments within an organization. It represents the flow of information, communication, and collaboration across various nodes or entities.
    • Flexibility: Allows dynamic and flexible relationships between nodes.
    • Interconnectivity: Emphasizes the interdependency and interconnectedness of different units or individuals.
    • Decentralization: Promotes decentralized decision-making and collaborative problem-solving.
    • Fluidity: Enables fluid communication and information sharing across the network structure.
    • Adaptability: Can easily adapt to changing organizational needs and requirements.
  8. 8
    This chart combines two or more types of structures to meet specific needs or goals. It is suitable for companies that need to balance conflicting demands, such as innovation and efficiency, or flexibility and control.
    The Hybrid organizational chart is a type of organizational chart that combines elements from different types of organizational structures to create a unique hybrid model. It aims to balance the benefits of various structures to meet the specific needs of an organization.
    • Flexibility: Allows organizations to adapt to changing needs and environments.
    • Cross-functional collaboration: Promotes communication and collaboration across different departments and functions.
    • Clear reporting structure: Defines roles and responsibilities clearly within the organization.
    • Combination of hierarchy and flat structure: Blends hierarchical elements for authority and decision-making with flat structure characteristics for agility and empowerment.
    • Focus on customer needs: Ensures customer-centricity by integrating customer requirements into the organizational structure.
  9. 9
    This chart focuses on the key processes that drive the company's value creation and customer satisfaction, rather than the functional roles or departments. It is suitable for companies that value continuous improvement, customer-centricity, and lean methodologies.
    The process-based organizational chart is a type of organizational chart that focuses on representing the workflow and processes within an organization rather than the hierarchical structure. It visualizes how teams and individuals work together to achieve specific goals or deliver products/services.
    • Focus: Emphasizes on processes and workflows rather than hierarchy
    • Representation: Visualizes the flow of work, including inputs, outputs, and dependencies
    • Flexibility: Allows for easy modification and adaptation to changing processes and teams
    • Collaboration: Encourages collaboration and cross-functional teamwork
    • Transparency: Promotes transparency by highlighting the entire process and the involvement of various teams
  10. 10
    This chart replaces the traditional top-down hierarchy with a decentralized system of self-organizing teams that have clear roles, accountabilities, and decision-making powers. It is suitable for companies that value autonomy, transparency, and agility, and aim to eliminate bureaucracy and micromanagement.
    The Holacratic organizational chart is a type of organizational chart that is based on the principles of holacracy, a method of distributed authority and self-organization. It is designed to promote a more agile and adaptable organizational structure by emphasizing the roles and accountabilities of individuals rather than traditional top-down management hierarchies.
    • Distributed authority: Authority is distributed across roles rather than concentrated at the top of the hierarchy.
    • Dynamic roles: Roles are defined based on the work that needs to be done, and individuals can hold multiple roles.
    • Circles and sub-circles: Organizational units are represented as circles, which can have sub-circles, allowing for greater autonomy and flexibility in decision-making.
    • Tension processing: Holacracy encourages individuals to identify tensions and propose solutions, which are then processed and addressed through structured meetings.
    • Clear accountabilities: Each role in the organization has defined accountabilities, enabling clear expectations and responsibilities.

Missing your favorite type?


Ranking factors for popular type

  1. Clarity
    The chart should be clear and easy to read so that individuals can understand how the organization is structured.
  2. Hierarchy
    The chart should show the hierarchy of the organization, including who reports to whom.
  3. Simplicity
    The chart should be simple and easy to understand so that it can be quickly and easily referenced.
  4. Flexibility
    The chart should be flexible enough to accommodate changes in the organizational structure.
  5. Functionality
    The chart should provide a functional representation of the organization, helping individuals to understand the roles and responsibilities of different departments and teams.
  6. Adaptability
    The chart should be adaptable to different levels and sizes of organizations.
  7. Accessibility
    The chart should be easily accessible to all employees of the organization.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular type of organizational chart. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or type is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 207 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each type once every 24 hours. The rank of each type is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular type of organizational chart

Organizational charts are an essential tool for any business or organization, as they help to define and communicate the structure of the company. There are several types of organizational charts, each with its own unique advantages and disadvantages. The most popular types of organizational charts include hierarchical, matrix, flat, and divisional charts. Hierarchical charts are the most traditional and commonly used, with a top-down structure that outlines the chain of command within the organization. Matrix charts, on the other hand, are more complex and allow for multiple reporting lines, making them ideal for organizations with cross-functional teams. Flat charts are best suited for small companies, while divisional charts are ideal for large organizations with multiple departments. Understanding the different types of organizational charts and their benefits can help businesses choose the right chart for their needs and ensure effective communication and organization within the company.

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