This a great read at Harvard Business on organizational class structures and the hidden (and not so hidden) damage they do to organizational cohesiveness and effectiveness: How to Crack Companies' Class Structure.
An invisible class structure is preventing companies from making the most of their employees’ talents.
By class structure I mean there’s a function or profession that considers itself and is perceived by all others to be the one that the organization values most. Everybody else is a de facto second- class citizen or worse.
By invisible I mean that everybody just accepts the class structure as a fact of life. Leaders do not consider either the price it exacts or how they might get rid of it.
What a shame! In an age when solving increasingly complex problems requires not just the input but also the robust interactions of multiple disciplines, a class structure is a formidable competitive disadvantage.
When I read these sorts of things they just make me sad. It'd be hard to find a more class-based organizational structure anywhere than what we have in higher education. The hidden costs are huge, and it would be wonderful to see someone step-up and take this on. Fixing this would yield tremendous organizational and societal benefits far beyond the academy.