Let's say you represent a human organisation with a tree data structure (organisation of a company, or for example for the USA you have the federal state then Texas inside it, then the county, then the township, etc.).

How would you say "This entity does not have anything inside it, it's a leaf or a terminal node in my tree structure" without using computer science term. If we were speaking about a genealogy tree it would be "This person did not have any child". Only I want a term that is applicable for an administrative entity, inside other administrative entities, not a person.

How is it possible to tell "The Escuadra de maniobra does not rule over any other spanish military entity" or "The civil township is one of the possible lowest level of administrative division in the USA"?

  • You've arrived at the low man on the totem pole. Not offering as an answer as it sounds like you want a formal term, and this is an informal idiom.
    – cobaltduck
    Sep 9, 2016 at 15:00
  • How about clerk? Sep 9, 2016 at 15:31
  • Given your comment to Laurel's answer, it's a little unclear exactly what you're after. Please edit your question to add a sample sentence. E.g. "When I first joined this company, I was assigned the ___ of the company.", or "Without anyone reporting to programmers, they constitute a/an ___ of this company.".
    – Lawrence
    Sep 9, 2016 at 15:51
  • Do you have names for the tiers in your hierarchy? For example, Country, State, County, City. If so, can you define that the City is the lowest tier? Sep 9, 2016 at 16:15
  • 1
    These people are sometimes called “individual contributors” as opposed to leads, managers, directors, etc.
    – Jim
    Sep 9, 2016 at 17:13

3 Answers 3


Perhaps, you could say that the administrative division is atomic.

Of or forming a single irreducible unit or component in a larger system

[ODO sense 1.2]


You're referring to someone/something at the bottom of the ladder (see also corporate ladder).

There are several similar idioms:

In a word, an employee at that level is a grunt:

a person with little or no authority in some organization; UNDERLING, SUBORDINATE.
-Online Slang Dictionary

  • Thank you for your answer, but I'm searching for a designation for this person workgroup/departement. I should have made clear that the entity was not a human but an abstraction.
    – Jylo
    Sep 9, 2016 at 15:03



Adjective nonsupervisory ‎(not comparable):

Not of a supervisory character; not engaged in supervision : a nonsupervisory worker

Adjective supervisory ‎(comparative more supervisory, superlative most supervisory):

Of, pertaining to, or in the capacity of a supervisor

Noun supervisor ‎(plural supervisors):

(management) A person with the official task of overseeing the work of a person or group, or of other operations and activities.

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