B. WALLISER in no way opposes the concepts of hierarchy and network and he connects them in the following way:
"The notion of hierarchy evoques the image of an arborescent structure where various objects do have "vertical" relations, oriented toward an object on a superior level, various of these superior objects being in turn oriented toward another one, at a still superior level. It seems opposed to the image of a reticular structure, wherein objects have "horizontal" relations, sometimes very intricated, where loops do appaer in such a way that no precedences seem to exist. However, even in a hierarchy, objects which are connected to another one of superior level may have direct relations with each other. The nature and intensity of these relations may even contribute to the definition of the successive levels" (1991, p.71).
St. BEER examplifies such networks (which he calls "hierarchical stochastic networks", showing that they are more satisfactory representations of complex organizations that the classical "tree", because they show that hierarchic levels can be somewhat fuzzy and allow for some leeway in personal or institutional relationships (1968, p.194, fig.16).
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Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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