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What is HIERARCHY? What does HIERARCHY mean? HIERARCHY meaning - How to pronounce HIERARCHY?

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Published on Jan 11, 2017

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What is HIERARCHY? What does HIERARCHY mean? HIERARCHY meaning - HIERARCHY pronunciation - HIERARCHY definition - HIERARCHY - How to pronounce HIERARCHY?

Source: Wikipedia.org article, adapted under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/... license.

A hierarchy (from the Greek hierarchia, "rule of a high priest", from hierarkhes, "leader of sacred rites") is an arrangement of items (objects, names, values, categories, etc.) in which the items are represented as being "above," "below," or "at the same level as" one another.

A hierarchy can link entities either directly or indirectly, and either vertically or diagonally. The only direct links in a hierarchy, insofar as they are hierarchical, are to one's immediate superior or to one of one's subordinates, although a system that is largely hierarchical can also incorporate alternative hierarchies. Indirect hierarchical links can extend "vertically" upwards or downwards via multiple links in the same direction, following a path. All parts of the hierarchy which are not linked vertically to one another nevertheless can be "horizontally" linked through a path by traveling up the hierarchy to find a common direct or indirect superior, and then down again. This is akin to two co-workers or colleagues; each reports to a common superior, but they have the same relative amount of authority. Organizational forms exist that are both alternative and complementary to hierarchy. Heterarchy is one such form.

A hierarchy is a system or organization in which people or groups are ranked one above the other according to status or authority.

A hierarchy is typically depicted as a pyramid, where the height of a level represents that level's status and width of a level represents the quantity of items at that level relative to the whole. For example, the few Directors of a company could be at the apex, and the base could be thousands of people who have no subordinates.

These pyramids are typically diagrammed with a tree or triangle diagram (but note that not all triangle/pyramid diagrams are hierarchical, for example, the 1992 USDA food guide pyramid), both of which serve to emphasize the size differences between the levels. An example of a triangle diagram appears to the right. An organizational chart is the diagram of a hierarchy within an organization, and is depicted in tree form below.

More recently, as computers have allowed the storage and navigation of ever larger data sets, various methods have been developed to represent hierarchies in a manner that makes more efficient use of the available space on a computer's screen. Examples include fractal maps, TreeMaps and Radial Trees.

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