Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Top Down: The Plight of Middle Managers

The demise of the corporate pecking order is a myth, says Stanford professor Harold J. Leavitt. Middle managers are the ones who bear the brunt when an organization pretends that everyone is equal. "One must also ask another question: If networks are, in fact, the designs of the future, can we feel confident that they will do significantly better than hierarchies?" Leavitt doesn't think so. He believes that the real problem lies in the pressures of inhabiting that dangerous world of middle management. With the ever present opportunity for making a CLS (career limiting statement), middle managers need to tread delicately in the minefield between upper and lower management. See a book excerpt from Top Down at HBS Working Knowledge: Leadership: The Plight of Middle Managers

If you are interested in "middles" also try Barry Oshry's book "Seeing Systems" for insights into the interplay, beliefs and tensions between tops, middles and bottoms.


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