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hierarchy of authority

Definition of Hierarchy of Authority

(noun) A clear chain of command found in organizations.

Hierarchy of Authority Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: hi·er·ar·chy of au·thor·i·ty

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /hIE-uhr-rahr-kee uhv uh-thOR-uh-tee/
  • British English – /hIE-uh-rah-kee UHv aw-thOr-i-tee/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /ˈhaɪˌrɑrki ʌv əˈθɔrəti/
  • British English – /ˈhaɪərɑːki ɒv ɔːˈθɒrɪti/

Usage Notes

  • Plurals:
    • hierarchies of authority
    • hierarchy of authorities
  • A type of authority.
  • Informally called pecking order.

Related Quotation

  • “There is an ordering of versions of femininity and masculinity at the level of the whole society, in some ways analogous to the patterns of face-to-face relations with institution. the possibilities of variation, of course, are vastly greater. The sheer complexity of relationships involving millions of people guarantees that ethnic differences and generational differences as well as class patterns come into play. But in key aspects the organization of gender on the very large scale must be more skeletal and simplified than the human relationships in face-to-face milieux. The forms of femininity and masculinity constituted at this level are stylized and impoverished. Their interrelation is centred on the single structural fact, the global dominance of men over women” (Connell 1987:183).

Related Video

Additional Information

Related Terms


Connell, R. W. 1987. Gender and Power: Society, the Person, and Sexual Politics. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Works Consulted

Griffiths, Heather, Nathan Keirns, Eric Strayer, Susan Cody-Rydzewski, Gail Scaramuzzo, Tommy Sadler, Sally Vyain, Jeff Bry, Faye Jones. 2016. Introduction to Sociology 2e. Houston, TX: OpenStax.

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).

Cite the Definition of Hierarchy of Authority

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “hierarchy of authority.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved April 22, 2024 (https://sociologydictionary.org/hierarchy-of-authority/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

hierarchy of authority. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/hierarchy-of-authority/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “hierarchy of authority.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed April 22, 2024. https://sociologydictionary.org/hierarchy-of-authority/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“hierarchy of authority.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 22 Apr. 2024. <https://sociologydictionary.org/hierarchy-of-authority/>.