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hierarchy (noun) (in a society or an organization) grading of people in power according to their ranks; group of people controlling an organization or institution.
Hierarchy is the system of grading, according to their ranks, the officials of an organization or the people in power in a government. In the hierarchy of the US administration, for example, the President occupies the highest position, and the secretaries are the next in rank. A cardinal occupies a higher position than an archbishop in the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church. That is, that is their order of importance and power. A group of people in power controlling a government or an organization is a hierarchy. The cabinet in the UK is the hierarchy taking all major decisions on matters of national importance.
- In the hierarchy of the army, the field marshal or the commander-in-chief occupies the most important and the sub-lieutenant the least.
- The hierarchy of a company decides policy matters and the executives implement them. Naturally the chairman and the board of directors control the policy matters and the management of the company.