Communication with people: the role of horizontal and vertical management in the realization of direct democracy

Intensive development, which is being realized on the basis of Movement strategy directed to the development of the Republic of Uzbekistan in 2017-2021 worked out by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, has led our country to deep reforms, historical turning point in the history of nation, national spiritual-cultural revival, social and economic growth process.     

 Keeping horizontal and vertical relationship norms has been the subject matter of investigations for many centuries and one of the main basic factors of the realization of democratic communication with people.

Vertical management has been the main way of governing in oriental statehood history, particularly during 3000-year statehood in Uzbekistan. This type of public administration had been the base of state and community management in the Western countries before the democracy principles were firmly established in society. Acceptance of democratic orders by a society laid the ground to the reduction of vertical management scale and enhancement of the horizontal management. The viewpoint mentioning – the stronger the horizontal management the higher the activity efficiency – dominates in developed countries at present time, in particular.

Economic political system established in every period of historical development has arranged and controlled social, political and spiritual relationships among people formed the given society. Therefore, increasing the role of every person in society, realization of their aims and interests, strengthening strive for freedom given them by the system caused different social problems.

Vertical management expresses the influence from up to down or from down to up,  acting on the basis of hierarchy based on the fixed social stratification accepted in the society, inequality of power of offers and suggestions. On the other hand,  horizontal management represents side influence of people on one another, following inter-civil equality in the society, equality of thoughts and suggestions in debate and discussions, following the principle “one person is one voice” in making decisions, following justice in labor division, equal responsibilities for task performs and work results. Today’s developed countries have achieved their high development rates as a result of transformation from traditional vertical management system to the horizontal public administration. It should be noted that vertical management has conservative content according to its sense, and it follows national lifestyle, preservation of traditions and customs.

Real and exact social atmosphere was created for the formation and cultural self-awareness of peoples from national ethnic point, comfortable opportunities for the formation of national statehood structures as a results of many centuries old vertical public administration. National language was preserved not being assimilated with other languages. Strata based on different social, professional, religious, intellectual stratification have been formed, direct or indirect conditions have been created for the perseveration of national-spiritual heritage monuments, national customs, rituals and national character, specific mental peculiarities of people.

According its mental specific Uzbek people clearly express two important characteristic ethnocultural features. Firstly, Uzbek people highly respect and unconditionally follow state structures and government officials. Secondly, Uzbek people respect society rules and local specifics principles in the regions and they consider following these rules as their social duty. Our people consider that it is equally necessary to follow vertical and horizontal public administration.

Horizontal management relied on peoples with high reputation and leaders of society. Strengthening person’s position in the society gave an opportunity to intentional development and the realization of the interests of different groups of people as a result.   The opportunities given to a person by the state system caused to the enhancement of the strive for freedom at the same time and supplied management efficiency, on the one hand, and arose different social problems as a result of over-increasing leaders’ status, on the other hand.

People of Uzbekistan expected what way of management would be selected by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev for the development  of Uzbekistan based on new development model. The President focused not on the vertically regulated authoritarian way of almost 150 years of colonial regime, but not only on strengthening of ethical (actually this is also an authoritarian rule – M.B.) state of semi-isolation that lasted 25 years of independence and limited achieving its results on this political way, but he chose a way that was very difficult, the only right direction, i.e. the way of equality, justice and democracy to achieve progress.  This is a horizontal way of governing which pleases the people, gives them equal status before the law and conscience, and strengthens the will of the people and the influence of society over the pressure of the state. The President relies on the power of three factors in creating the foundations of horizontal governance. The first of them is the great statehood history, experiences and traditions of the Uzbek people; the second is the rich spiritual history, national identity, intellectual, social capital of the nation; the third is the need for successful integration into the global world, the power of democracy based on justice, and the goal of ensuring Uzbekistan’s worthy position in the world.

Abu Nasr Farobi, a famous philosopher of the East, writes as follows: “Some people assume that there are no natural or voluntary ties among people, each person has to harm the interests of others for their own benefit, one has to be a stranger to the other, even though they unite because of necessity, obligation, even if they compromise, only one wins and the other loses.” Here, they are forced to agree with each other under the pressure of an external force in this case, and if that power is lost, the agreement is lost, alienation reappears, and they disintegrate. One of the animalistic beliefs inherit in humanity is this misconception and deceptive belief.”

It is clear from these ideas of Abu Nasr al-Farabi that he encouraged that people should live together and cooperate voluntarily, not compulsorily, so that the conflicts would end. Moreover, he mentions “Some people think that connection links between people are based on common features of their behavior, nature and language. Every nation has its own characteristics.”

Abu Nasr al-Farabi believes that external influences are not real threat, but they are mutually understood relations, i.e. horizontal relationships are the basis of interpersonal harmony and goodness. According to the thinker:

  • mutual, i.e. horizontal relationships between people are manifested by kinship or blood proximity, and such relationships create a peculiar harmony of life and vitality of traditions;
  • the interdependence of people is mainly based on belonging to a certain tribes, which forms a unity of social, cultural, political approach between a large group of people;
  • common religious beliefs also play an important role in the stable functioning of horizontal relations. Mutual patience, tolerance, customs, traditions, unity of behavior, level equality, tastes similarity, closeness of character are also important in strengthening interpersonal horizontal relationships. 

Not all people consciously strive to strengthen horizontal relationships at the same time, but some of them maintain the relationship by living in a chaotic manner, i.e. by following the rules, customs and traditions of the existing society, while others act as imitators of the majority and interact approaching the issue of achieving conscious solidarity without feeling the essence enough.  This is because such an approach has acquired a peculiar inertial nature over centuries.

The lack of conscious approach in the horizontal relationships poses a social risk of an easy intimidation by squeezing out subjects and traditions of imitation of interpersonal closeness and harmony from their lifestyles.  There have been many such cases in history. For instance, during the years of repression, the Soviet regime physically killed scientists, writers and enlighteners, who were considered to be ideals for hundreds of thousands of people, and impacted at the spiritual unity of the people.   People’s mutual understanding was threatened, as a result.  An important feature of the horizontal approach is that a person must consciously show constant kindness to their partners, colleagues, relatives and friends, or do good to their close people without expecting benefit from it. The horizontal approach demonstrates the need for a conscious approach, vigilance, awareness in human relations, as well as national solidarity requires a person to see goodness in everything, to feel and be grateful for the positive changes taking place in the society.    

Pointing out the necessity of interpersonal interests harmony and unity of efforts for the stable development and national rise, the President of our country Shavkat Mirziyoyev states: “ we all should work together to achieve great goals by uniting in every sphere ” which is very actual and important issue at present time.

Vertical and horizontal approaches widely used to achieve educational effectiveness in practice. The vertical approach in upbringing means the relationship in accordance with the difference in status, position, post, ownership, the influence of the leader on the employee, the level of distance between them, as well as moral impact of older people to young people. The vertical influence of elder people on young ones is important in enrooting national spirituality in the minds of the younger generation, preserving the traditions succession.   The experience of older peoples’ upbringing through the role model has played an important role transferring the centuries-old traditions of our people from generation to generation and keeping their vitality.   

Horizontal relationships also require a unity of common interests. Common interests, on the other hand, raise the need for corporate closeness. It is important to form a harmony of corporate interests, which was emphasized by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. After all, the cohesiveness of individuals within a society is not only essential to which region or ethnic group they belong to, but also to the fact that they have corporate interests within the framework of perceived social goals.

Therefore, it is necessary to pay special attention to the rational balance between the interests of different ethnic and social groups in our country.

The phenomenon of horizontal management requires the existence of a stable educational and professionally important system in any community. Without an educational, professional or intellectual significant system, the effectiveness of horizontal influence in a society cannot be sustainable.  The effectiveness of horizontal upbringing depends in many ways on the purpose of working in the team.  Aristotle, the philosopher of the antique period, wrote in his “Poetics”: “Aimless person has no character as well. A person without character has no interest or motivation”. It is difficult to imagine the efficiency of horizontal management without a target factor. 

Alisher Navoi expressed the following exemplary views about the goal in one of his letters written to Prince Badiuzzamon: “People can not survive from disasters if they do not have a goal in their life. But the more goals of man the more obedience he has for the orders of God.”   It is also necessary to pay constant attention to the need for a conscious unity, a unified approach to the goal in the framework of horizontal management.

It is important to arouse and strengthen the interest of young people in a particular field, profession or occupation. To do this, it is important to seriously study the real state of interest and needs in the mind of people, the growth and change of interest in this or that area. Interest becomes a creative force only when it is transferred from general to the individual, from collective to the level of the individual, i.e. when a person is able to approach what he is interested in with the feelings of the soul and mind.

Differing from the value of the priority of material and real interests in the West, the main value for the peoples of the East has always been spiritual factors, especially human dignity, self-esteem, shame, conscience. Spiritual requirements necessitated self-balancing of a set of values, putting one after another logically. Respect for parents, appreciation for brothers, kinship solidarity, friendly relations among neighbors have taken place in the life in certain sequence, in a hierarchical form according to the level of appreciation. Violation of the order of values led to the collapse of society, first, and later to the collapse of the state. Hierarchy is considered to be the norm of balance which determines the rhythm of the oriental lifestyle – one of the cornerstones of the way of life.  The hierarchical processes flowing in their own way have served as a guarantee that there would not be any storms.  

In this regard, Uzbekistan has consistently been leading a policy of preserving the spiritual integrity of our people, not relinquishing identity, striving for the future on the basis of pure humanistic qualities. It is more appropriate for the peoples of the East to have a hierarchical equality i.e. a system of relationships representing a bottom-up, step-by-step approach, in which requirements of humanity are fully completed, rather than a formula of total equality i.e. universal equality, which measures everyone at the same way which is specific for Western countries. 

 An important specific feature of the horizontal approach in the educational process is seen in theactivities and communication based on social partnership between the teacher and the student.  The teacher and the learner approach each other as equal partners in teaching-learning partnership.   The teacher treats each learner in the group as an individual person. The educator does not differentiate the learners into strong and weak by approaching them equally and differentially.

The most important thing is that the teacher acts in the solution of educational and upbringing problems by putting himself/herself in the place of the learner. The pupils’ independent thinking, activity, initiatives are developed and encouraged. The main attention is paid to certain extent to which the learners’ personality, mental state, and individual qualities are improved in harmony in the process of mastering the subjects.    The horizontal approach  constantly builds inner pride and satisfaction in learners after having overcome each knowledge passages and continuously motivates them to reach new heights. Such an approach increases the motivation of bright future, the achievement of social goal to high peaks, the level of self-confidence in young people. According to its essence the horizontal approach fully serves to ensure the full understanding of the content of the Actions Strategy in our country, to ensure the priority of the human, the person factor, to educate each member of educational process to be a person who was and will be as no less than others.     

The education system in the former Soviet period was built on a totally vertical approach. The priority of the pedagogical personality, his/her thoughts, teaching methods, and even behavior had been of primary importance in the vertical approach to education, and the learner played a role of simple consumer.  The main attention is only given to the pupils’ acquisition of educational resources in the vertical approach.   The learner cannot be the creator of the learning material that needs to be studies in this case. The teacher is not able to unite the group in the certain goal in this approach, which may result in the formation of distance between the teacher and the learner.  The teacher cannot interfere in internal conflicts in the group, and he/she does not participate in their socially acceptable resolution. Such situations can lead to chaos, laziness, inactivity and irresponsibility among the members of the group.  

The teacher does not try to give a realistic assessment of the situation by placing themselves in the position of a student in the vertical approach, he/she considers himself/herself right in any problematic situation. The educator does not allow the learner to think freely. The vertical approach enhances the pupils’ sense of fear, reluctance, indecision, insecurity at the same time. The most worrying aspect of the vertical approach in education is that the learner refrains from identifying themselves with high-level opportunities, ideal types, and that the scope of their identification is limited only to the level of their group, neighbors, and colleagues.

Education had been built on a completely vertical approach in which the pupil was perceived as a passive participant in educational process in the pre-independence period. The slogans of A. Makarenko, a well-known pedagogical specialist of the former Soviet era  “Everything is in collective”, “Everything is for collective” and “Everything is through collective” were the main axis of the vertical approach, the collective factor nurtured by the communist ideology was elevated to the absolute level, and the human, individual became the victim of the collective.

The widespread use of the pronouns “I”, “we”, and “you” in horizontal education shows that the Uzbek people are yielding and broad-minded. The factor of the personal pronoun “мы” (we) has always been played a decisive role in the solution of various problems in the Russian while the factor “I” dominates over everything in Americans.   We have conducted interviews with people of different ages in order to find out how important the very issues are. Different answers were received to the question “ What do you think which of the words “I”, “we”, “you”  make more positive impressesion on the listeners when you are reporting on your work or your activity?” during the conversation.  Majority of people over the age 50, i.e. three out of every four respondents, reported more positive results by emphasizing the personal pronoun “you, in particular, half of the respondents between the ages 30-35 who took part in this experiment replied that they use the personal pronoun “we” and the other half answered as the pronoun “you” makes a positive impression. However, only 40 percent of respondents aged 25-35 reported that they can make a positive impression by using the personal pronoun “you”. The results of the interview showed that the way of thinking among young people differs from the way of thinking of middle-aged and elderly people to certain extend. However, they fell that the general approach mainly revolves around the pronoun “you”, that our people prefer to emphasize the service of the others in work, to appreciate the contribution of others in doing some work, to emphasize “you” supplies mutual closeness more effectively.    An excessive emphasis on the personal pronoun “I” can serve not to increase a person’s prestige in the community, despite one’s achievements, but to be distant from the people, the country as a whole.   The respondents who took part in this experiment noted that the use of the pronoun “you” indirectly serves to increase the status of the person, strengthen horizontal relationships and unite the team.

The spiritual basis for strengthening horizontal upbringing in education is kindness factor. Majority of people believe that kindness is born from the heart, soul. It should not be forgotten that kindness is also the fruit of the mind.  That is why the most humanistic feeling among the soul fruits is kindness.  As kindness is a rational expression of percieved behavior, it is usually directed towards the mind, although kindness is a fruit of human soul. For example, an attention paid to a child by the parents, teacher’s attitude towards the learner, a child’s care towards the parents, elder brother’s treatment to younger one can be considered to be kindness. Feelings of liking and loving others prevail in love, on the other hand. It is also more appropriate to call love as an unperceived feeling where kindness is perceived feeling.  If love is combined with kindness, such a feeling is very strong and stable. It is important to strengthen emotional relationships between siblings, teacher-learner, husband-wife, colleagues through loving bonds in horizontal relationships.   But, it should be kept in mind that the feeling of kindness is so delicate that its bonds can be separated easily. For instance, a husband’s violence against his wife, elder brother’s beating a younger one, and teacher’s ordering the pupil to do something unwillingly cause to a decline of kindness.  It is too difficult to tie a broken feeling ring again. Passions can be restored, but feelings of compassion based on human relations cannot fully be restored in their original form.   It should be noted that compassion may not disappear on the part that oppresses, but on the part of the one who was beaten, insulted, threatened the love immediately disappears.  Only fulfilling the obligation remains on the side of neglected side. Some people wonder that someone they took care of becomes very unkind or merciless stating that they had raised him/her as a child, gave an education, made him/her a human being, but for unknown reason the child became unkind.  The root of mercilessness or unkindness should be searched in the history of given upbringing.  

The association of people based on feelings of mutual liking is studied through the term reference groups in sociology. People unite in small groups of two, three and even four people in their life and within these groups they work together to solve their professional, domestic, and social problems.  The process of finding and reuniting people who fit them begins in pre0school education and continuous till old ages of their life.  It has been observed many times that such loving states of people eventually grow to the level of mutual friendship. If we turn to literary sources, the images of Otabek and Hasanali in the novel “The Past Days”, Athos, Partos, Aramis, D’artanyan in Alexander Dumas’ “The Four Musketeers”, and many other literary and life examples confirm the importance of uniting people as a reference group.  Reference groups are considered to be the most common form of horizontal connections between people and a social form specific to all situations in the world. 

While distributing the tasks to be performed by two, three or four people the attention is mainly focused on the factor of which reference group the employees belong to in Japanese management. Usually people who cannot unite on small private issues can never unite on the way to solving common problems.

The horizontal approach is also very important in ensuring sustainable human development. Alisher Navoi in his famous “Majolisun nafois” expressed warm thoughts about scientists, poets and craftsmen who were more successful than their contemporaries, mastering three-four professions more than their contemporaries working in one creative type or profession.

The great thinker noted, particularly, well-known scientists like Sayyid Hasan Ardasher,  Pahlavon Mahmud, Kulmuhammad Udi, Mavlono Muhammad Jomi, Khodja Fazlulloh Abulaysi and many others who lived at that time, did not aim their own interests, they had mastered the arts perfectly only with general desire to improve music theory, calligraphy, astronomy, recitation of the Qur’an.

There is a tendency of combining historical, national and modern traditions of communication with people in new Uzbekistan.  

Modern mechanisms of vertical and horizontal management have been introduced in our country over the recent four years.  The vertical structure of the Presidential and People’s Receptions has particularly been recognized as an effective and popular structure in identifying problems of different regions and segments of the population and finding optimal solutions.   Here, it should be noted that the activity of the People’ Reception has been mentioned by respondents (according to 82.4 % of respondents who took part in a survey) as the most popular institution for the operative and effective solution of peoples’ problems  in the sociological survey conducted by the Republican Center for Public Opinion Research.  Besides that, it is noteworthy to state that the site “Prezident. Uz”, i.e. the virtual reception of the President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, which has become the most convenient means, has covered 32.5% of total number of applications made by our people over the last three years, and the popularity of this site is continuously growing.  

The latest project of direct dialogue with the people in Uzbekistan is the realization of the principle “Chairman of Mahalla if a Chief Reformer”  put forward by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.  According to this principle, the work to ensure the well-being of inhabitants living in the territory of the mahalla (neighbourhood), activation of human factor, lifting out of poverty will be carried out in three-tier system.  The first tier is the permanent attachment of one of the representatives of a commercial bank to each mahalla,  the second is the establishment of a “Management office” in each sector of the district, and the third is “Coordinating Group of the District” which prepares economic programs, approves them in the District Council of Deputies and monitors their consistent realization.  This new system is the most optimal national model for the effective solution of social problems in a horizontal cross-section, i.e. the specific features of the real region, the current and future needs of the population, as well as future goals.

Thus, large-scale democratic reforms in our country are being implemented with the steadfastness and consistency under the motto of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev “Our most sacred duty is to please our people”.



Doctor of sociological sciences, Professor