What is the difference between unity of command and chain of command?

Asked By: Sixte Holtmanns | Last Updated: 22nd April, 2020
Category: business and finance executive leadership and management
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Chain of Command: Chain of command refers to the orderly line of authority within the ranks of the incident management organization. Unity of Command: Unity of command means that all individuals have a designated supervisor to whom they report at the scene of the incident.

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Similarly, you may ask, what is the meaning of unity of command?

Definition and Principles of Unity of Command Unity of command provides that an employee is responsible to only one supervisor, who in turn is responsible to only one supervisor, and so on up the organizational hierarchy. This is true even if the top of the organization is led by a group of people.

Also, what is unity of command and why is it important? Unity of command is a management principle that establishes a hierarchy where a subordinate reports or is only responsible to a single superior directly above their own position. The principle is important as it forms the basis of an incident management system.

Also to know, what does chain of command mean?

The definition of a chain of command is an official hierarchy of authority that dictates who is in charge of whom and of whom permission must be asked. An example of chain of command is when an employee reports to a manager who reports to a senior manager who reports to the vice president who reports to the CEO.

What is the difference between span of control and chain of command?

Key DifferenceChain of Command vs Span of Control The key difference between chain of command and span of control is that the chain of command refers to the levels of authority in a company whereas the span of control is the number of subordinates a manager is responsible for controlling.

39 Related Question Answers Found

What are the six principles of command?

Six principles of Mission Command
  • Build cohesive teams through mutual trust.
  • Create shared understanding.
  • Provide clear commander's intent.
  • Exercise disciplined initiative.
  • Use mission orders.
  • Accept prudent risk.

What is scalar principle?

The scalar principle is a rule where an employee or subordinate reports to his or her immediate supervisor but no higher in the management chain.

Which of the following is an advantage of unity of command?

The merits or advantages of unity of command are listed as follows: Better relationship among superior and subordinates. Clear and well-organized Authority, Responsibility and Accountability. Reduces and/or avoids duplication of work.

What do u mean by hierarchy?

A hierarchy is an organizational structure in which items are ranked according to levels of importance. Most governments, corporations and organized religions are hierarchical. In a computing context, there are various types of hierarchical systems.

What do you mean by MBO?


Management by objectives (MBO) is a strategic management model that aims to improve the performance of an organization by clearly defining objectives that are agreed to by both management and employees. The term was first outlined by management guru Peter Drucker in his 1954 book, The Practice of Management.

What do you mean by scalar chain?

Scalar chain is the formal line of authority which moves from highest to lowest rank in a straight line. This chain specifies the route through which the information is to be communicated to the desired location/person.

What are the 14 management principles?

The 14 principles of Management are:
  • Division of Work.
  • Authority and Responsibility.
  • Discipline.
  • Unity of Command.
  • Unity of Direction.
  • Subordination of Individual Interest.
  • Remuneration.
  • The Degree of Centralization.

What is stability of tenure?

Stability of tenure of personnel is a principle stating that in order for an organization to run smoothly, personnel (especially managerial personnel) must not frequently enter and exit the organization.

What is the importance of chain of command?

Efficiency – A functional chain of command helps improve efficiency when communicating with workers. As a result, this helps them improve workflow and adjusting their management methods. Clarity – Having a good company structure makes the chain of command very clear.

What is the order of chain of command?


The order in which authority and power in an organization is wielded and delegated from top management to every employee at every level of the organization. Instructions flow downward along the chain of command and accountability flows upward.

What is chain of command in management?

In an organizational structure, “chain of command” refers to a company's hierarchy of reporting relationships – from the bottom to the top of an organization, who must answer to whom. The chain of command not only establishes accountability, it lays out a company's lines of authority and decision-making power.

What is another word for chain of command?

Synonyms for chain of command
food chain. hierarchy. power structure.

What is command structure?

A hierarchy of authority in which each rank is accountable to the one directly superior.

How do you use the chain of command?

Following a Chain of Command
The chain of command means going to the next level of authority. For instance, a rank-and-file worker would report to a supervisor, and the supervisor reports to a manager. In American business culture, workers should not skip up the ladder.

What is a long chain of command?


A long chain of command is one that has several levels of management between the top and bottom of the chain. The multiple layers of a long chain of command can create problems for a small business.

Why is chain of command important in law enforcement?

A chain of command creates accountability within each branch, as all personnel are responsible not only for their actions but also for the actions of their subordinates, which in turn creates a culture of responsibility and dependency on others.

Does the chain of command work both ways?

The Chain Goes Both Ways
The chain of command isn't some archaic, cruel way to torment employees; quite the opposite actually. The chain of command encourages employees to have a closer relationship with their supervisor and enact change through a single system.