stovepipe organization
n. An organization model in which departments, managers, and employees have a narrow and rigid set of responsibilities.
The idea of structuring operating divisions along customer lines and eliminating the previous 'stovepipe' organization revolving around functions such as examinations or collections, shows sound planning.
—Roy M. Quick, “Testimony Before the Senate Committee On Small Business,” Federal News Service, May 23, 2000
1991 (earliest)
One of the first things company executives confronted was the failure of the traditional 'stovepipe organization' to generate greater responsiveness to customers. … That realization led management to examine pipeline, rather than stovepipe, management concepts.
—E. J. Muller, “Building a fast track for turbo logistics,” Chilton's Distribution, June 01, 1991
A stovepipe (or, less often, stove-pipe) is a metal tube that extends vertically out of a fuel-burning stove. It has a single task: to act as a kind of chimney for the stove, moving the smoke and ash along a narrow, rigid path. In a stovepipe organization, employees have a narrowly defined set of responsibilities, and their output and feedback "moves" along a set path in the chain of command.

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