|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (September 2009)|
The theory of triarchy (from the Greek τρι- "three" and ἄρχω arch, "to rule") refers to Fairtlough's proposition that there are three fundamental ways of getting things done in organisations: hierarchy, heterarchy and responsible autonomy.)
The hegemony of hierarchy
Triarchy theory claims that our "addiction to hierarchy" drains the energy from collaborative projects and sometimes fails to recognise the input of able individuals whose contributions can be overlooked in a formal reporting structure.
Heterarchy is divided, supported or dispersed rule where control shifts around depending on the project and the personality, skills, experience and enthusiasm of those who can make things happen.
This is illustrated by the autonomy of fund managers who tend to be left to themselves if their fund is performing well. Success attracts a larger fund and more clients. Autonomy is provided by the internal policies of the investment institution. Accountability is provided by the performance of the fund.