The name of this management style may be somewhat misleading as it seems to imply that the objective is to promote chaos. However, what it really means is that all members or facets of an organization are allowed to act freely and independently without interference from management. This technique was developed and employed by Google so it’s easy to understand its potential in a creative technology driven environment. Its application in an automotive repair environment would be considerably different. However, the similarity is that freedom must be coupled with responsibility and accountability.
Allowing people to act freely and independently can be beneficial in that the overhead cost of supervision is reduced. If the person or team acting with limited supervision is compensated based on profitability and production (sales volume) and is also responsible for quality then independence can be successful in any environment.
Although this management style implies an almost complete level of independence among workers it can be applied in varying degrees. As in any other situation the concept can be adopted in ways that fit the circumstances. Many shops allow a high degree of autonomy to master mechanics. They choose their own methods of accomplishing their objectives and are responsible for production, profitability and quality.
As with any management style the chaotic style should be applied in specific circumstances. There may be circumstances in which a high degree of independence will result in the maximum level of productivity for employees and this is where the chaotic style fits.