Gerard Fairtlough (former CEO of Shell Chemicals UK and founder of biotechnology company, Celltech), has written a book called: Creative Compartments: a Design for Future Organization and The Three Ways of Getting Things Done in Organizations He talks about a concept called 'triarchy' - you can read more about it here.
He says, "Hierarchy will not easily withdraw. Understanding, inventiveness, balance and bravery will be needed to shift it. But there is good reason to think it can be shifted. Vast energy presently goes to propping up hierarchy. Releasing this energy for constructive use will bring great and clearly recognizable benefits. It will allow organizations to emerge that are much more effective for getting things done and much better places in which to work."
Also, read an interview with Sally Bibb, the author of Stone Age company at the same site (here's the link). There's one point in Sally's book that I particularly like, and that is the comparison of the corporate world to life in a school playground - often, top managers are "overgrown school kids running companies". This is just so true! Unfortunately for the sufferers, they don't have the stomach to fight the bullies - perhaps the same happened in their schooldays. In a lot of ways, the workplace reminds many of the terrible times they had in school - with the awful knowledge that they aren't going to be able to quit work any time soon. With the retirement age creeping upwards, there is no immediate light at the end of the tunnel for those trapped in the corporate schoolground.
(email me your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org)