Frank Martela: every organization needs to find its own optimal level of hierarchy


I am honored and grateful to bring you guys my next podcast episode with a Finnish philosopher/ organizational researcher Frank Martela. Frank is a really fascinating guy. He is a cross-disciplinary researcher with PhDs in both philosophy and organizational research. His research interests lie at the intersection of the basic human psychological needs, the question of meaning in life as well as the possibilities of adaptive and non-hierarchical organizing. Besides numerous academic articles in top notch international scientific journals, he has also published a book called “A Wonderful Life: Insights on Finding a Meaningful Existence” (the book is available in Estonian as “Imeline elu”). Currently Frank is a faculty member at Aalto University, he is also one of the co-founders and chairman of the board of Filosofian Akatemia Oy. I really enjoyed the conversation – hope you do as well!

“If we are talking about the various organizational structures and the designing of the organization in general, then all these different structures and different approaches have their pros and cons. You just need to be aware and be mindful of them and then choose the right one for your organization. And that is also the reason why I don’t think that every company should get rid of the managers by default. Even though I usually tend to study these less hierarchical models of organizing, every single organization would need to find out what is the optimal level of hierarchy in their own case. But at the same time I feel that in most cases, the optimal level is probably having less hierarchy than they have now because we have this strong legacy of these more hierarchical models of organizing. So I would say that because of that, most organizations tend to have more hierarchy than would be necessary or even beneficial for getting the tasks done. But then, of course, there are also organizations that have gone too far into having no hierarchy; and they need to reinvent some more hierarchy into the organization to make it more functional again. So it is really finding the optimal balance in the specific case of one’s own organization. So yeah, you got to experiment with these things to identify what is the best solution in your specific case.” – Frank Martela

Listen and enjoy!

PS! Check out more about Frank and his endeavors here:


Juhtimiskvaliteet on konkurentsieelis
Juhtimiskvaliteet on konkurentsieelis
Juhtimiskoolitaja ja coach'i Veiko Valkiainen'i podcast “Juhtimiskvaliteet on konkurentsieelis” vastab küsimusele: mida tähendab olla edukas juht? Podcasti “Juhtimiskvaliteet on konkurentsieelis” algselt seatud küsimuseks, millele vestluste käigus vastuseid otsime, on: mida tähendab olla edukas juht? See võtmeküsimus on kogu juhtimispodcasti läbiv punane niit. Veiko missioon on toetada juhtidel ja meeskondadel saavutada soovitud eesmärke keskendudes tulemuslikkuse kasvatamisele läbi juhi ja tema tiimiliikmete mõtte- ja käitumismustrite muutmise. Podcast on koht, kus lisaks temale jagavad juhtimisteemadel oma mõtteid, teadmisi ja kogemusi Eesti erinevad tegevjuhid, tippsportlased, konsultandid-koolitajad ja teised juhtimisega lähedalt kokku puutuvad inimesed. Kuulake ikka!