In a company based on hierarchical authority, it is much easier to have a strong opinion when you’re on a high level of the food chain. If you’re on a lower level, the problem is that you might be wrong or that your honest opinion might be something your boss does not want to hear. Thus, you act in an opportunist way and only say what’s mainstream in your company.
Knowledge companies cannot afford to have this kind of behaviour, they need everyone to have a clear opinion. Or put it like this: knowledge companies need to provide the freedom to their employees to have or form their own opinion and communicate it within the company.
An egalitarian organizational structure and predictable working conditions are thus a prerequisite for a successful knowledge company. They cannot afford to have the management rule by verdicts and fear. Instead, it needs to be trust and mutual respect, what drives the management to motivate the staff.
The more quality the opinions have, the better the decision-making within the company, and the more it can act realistically in the market.