Please imagine an organization in which the hierarchy is not observed. E.g. an area manager (a low manager) contacts to the chairman of the whole system instead of his / her upper / direct manager like a CEO. The Chairman wants to ask him / her to observe the organizational hierarchy ever after and instead of contacting the chairman, contact with his / her higher manager. What shall the chairman say in natural English?

  • Please observe the organizational hierarchy.

  • Please observe the organization's hierarchy.

I was wondering appreciate it if someone could let me know which one of the above-mentioned self-made sentences works here properly. If no one works then please let me know what shall the chairman say here?

2 Answers 2


We refer to this in military terms as "the chain of command". What you describe is ignoring the chain of command.

Bob ignored the chain of command and wrote a letter to the CEO directly to complain about working conditions.

It can also be described as "going over [someone's] head".

Bob was tired of being rejected for a promotion so he went over his boss's head to the regional director, to ask him if there were any opportunities in the organization.

You can also "go around" someone who is in your way.

Bob went around his boss and contacted the vice president directly to present his ideas that he felt could significantly improve efficiency.

Sometimes you can use an American Football metaphor and call this an "end run", used the same way as "go around".

Bob did an end run around his boss, etc.

  • 2
    I tried to put this into words and got nowhere as explanatory as your answer. I did not post mine as you covered it so much better.
    – WRX
    Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 20:02
  • The is it possible to say: "you have to observe the chain of command" @Andrew? Does this structure work here in English?
    – A-friend
    Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 20:07
  • 1
    @A-friend Yes, or "follow the chain of command". Both are fine.
    – Andrew
    Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 20:10
  • 1
    @WillowRex Thanks but feel free to post your own answer. You never know what I might have missed :)
    – Andrew
    Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 20:11
  • you seriously covered each of my points. :)
    – WRX
    Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 20:17

I would say

Go through the correct/appropriate channels.

And maybe add

This is so decisions are made at the right level.

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