Existing enterprise – Horizontal organisational structure

Published on April 28, 2012 in Manufacturing
Gore has approximately 9,000 associates across 30 countries, with manufacturing facilities in the USA, Germany, Scotland, Japan, and China. Annual revenues are $2.5 billion. Fluoropolymer products provide innovative solutions throughout industry e.g. in next-generation electronics, for medical products, and with high-performance fabrics.


Gore has received many accolades including being named amongst the “100 Best Companies to Work For,” in the U.S. by FORTUNE magazine. The company’s culture is often held up as a model for contemporary organizations seeking growth by unleashing creativity and fostering teamwork.


Embedding responsible behaviours

Associates adhere to four basic guiding principles as articulated by Bill Gore:

1) Fairness to each other and everyone with whom we come in contact
2) Freedom to encourage, help, and allow other associates to grow in knowledge, skill, and scope of responsibility
3) The ability to make one’s own commitments and keep them
4) Consultation with other associates before undertaking actions that could impact the reputation of the company

The company culture expects associates to consider the effects of products and operations on the environment, and be good stewards of air, water, and energy resources, and in the management of waste.



Since it was founded in 1958, Gore has been a team-based, flat lattice organization that fosters personal initiative. It is an innovator and early adopter in both organisational techniques and product design.

There are no traditional organizational charts, no chains of command, nor predetermined channels of communication.

Associates (not employees) are hired for general work areas. With the guidance of their sponsors (not bosses) and a growing understanding of opportunities and team objectives, associates commit to projects that match their skills. All of this takes place in an environment that combines freedom with cooperation and autonomy with synergy.

All associates can earn the credibility to define and drive projects. Sponsors help associates chart a course in the organization that will offer personal fulfilment while maximizing their contribution to the enterprise.

Leaders may be appointed, but are defined by their ‘followership.’ More often, leaders emerge naturally by demonstrating special knowledge, skill, or experience that advances a business objective.


Website : www.gore.com


Please note our caveats on including these existing enterprise stories.


Credits : Image source: Materials by Rob Wiltshire