National Labor Relations Board

Organizational structure is a major factor that determines the management styles and performance of various organizations. According to Myers (2017), organizational structure determines the division of work, assignment of duties, and the level of authority of employees and management levels. Vertical and horizontal organizational structures are two major forms of organizational structures that are common in most organizations. The vertical structure is a conventional organization with a hierarchical structure of power, a clear chain of command, and defined the distribution of work, duties, and management levels.

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In contrast, the horizontal structure has no hierarchical structure of power, an amorphous chain of command, and undefined distribution of work, duties, and management levels. A review of an organizational chart highlights the nature of the organizational structure they possess. Therefore, this essay examines the National Labor Relations Board, which is a public organization, reviews its organizational chart, determines the organizational structure, and discusses the mode of operation.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is a public organization in the United States that enforces labor laws dealing with labor practices, collective bargaining agreements, and labor unions. As an independent federal agency, the role of the NLRB is to protect employees without or with a union, particularly the ones in the private sector, and improve their working conditions and remuneration. The NLRB has evolved with time it emanated from the passage of the National Industrial Recovery Act (1933) and Public Resolution No. 44 (1934), which bestowed the presidency with powers to establish the NLRB with the mandate to hold union elections, mediate labor disputes, and issue subpoenas. In 1935, Senator Robert Wagner sponsored the passage of the National Labor Relations Act, which anchored the establishment of NLRB in the United States (Strecker, 2016). Since its inception, the NLRB has made a significant impact on the manner in which industries, companies, and labor undertake their activities.

The review of organizational shows of the NLRB shows that it has both vertical and horizontal organizational structures. The NLRB has a vertical organizational structure because it depicts some levels of hierarchy in its organizational structure. Myers (2016) explains that vertical organizational structure occurs when there are defined duties and a clear chain of command that allows employees to be answerable to their seniors. At the top of the organizational structure, the NLRB comprises the Board and the General Counsel. The Board watches over regional offices, which have the mandate of investigating unfair labor practices, conducting union elections, and settling of disputes. The General Counsel supervises the NLRB divisions, namely, the Division of Administration, the Division of Operations Management, the Division of Enforcement Litigation, and the Division of Advice. In this view, the vertical organizational structure is evident as employees in regional offices and divisions are answerable to the Board and the General Counsel respectively.

Moreover, the NLRB has a horizontal organizational structure because the top management level comprises the Board and the General Counsel, which are independent entities. The president appoints five members of the Board for a five-year term and bestows them with the responsibility to adjudicate cases, hold union elections, and resolve labor disputes. Additionally, the president appoints members of the General Counsel for a four-year term and then confers them with the mandate to investigate and prosecute organizations that violate labor practices and offer a supervisory role to regional offices in the processing of cases. In this view, neither the Board nor the General Counsel is superior or inferior because they have defined roles and independence. Furthermore, staff members in the regional offices and divisions work as a team in ensuring that employees get favorable working practices, safe working conditions, and decent remunerations.

The organizational chart provides additional information because it shows how two independent top management levels cooperate effectively in improving labor practices, working conditions, and remuneration of employees. The effective cooperation is evident in the organizational chart as the Board and the General Counsel collaborate in the offices of the Inspector General, the Equal Employment Opportunity, administration, finance, and information. Thus, collaboration illustrates the essence of teamwork in a horizontal organizational structure.


Myers, C. (2017). The definitions of horizontal and vertical organizations.

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National Labor Relations Board. (2017). Organization chart.

Strecker, D. (2016). Labor law: A basic guide to the National Labor Relations Act. New York, NY: CRC Press.

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