Middle managers as "the clueless"
In the Gervais hierarchy, management level is labelled as "the clueless". I was thinking that the reason why such characterization makes sense is that the position is a "responsibility without authority" one. The "authority" a middle manager has is in no way comparable to that of an executive. No authority to decide on things that matter that is: strategy, budgets. Just little things like who gets fired :P
They are generally needed because of the limitation of command span.
The number of middle managers can be reduced primarily by reducing the number of employees through automation.
A century ago a big farmer needed dozens of workers, with supervisors, today he does everything himself in a big powerful machine or from behind his computer screen.
But I don't think the size of teams under a manager have grown, rather the opposite, as there are less stock workers doing routine labour, who can be mass managed.
May 18th, 2017 10:38am
Compare the army where the size of a basic team has gone down over time.
May 18th, 2017 10:40am
Maybe because their firepower has gone up?
I suspect the required minimum IQ of grunts may have gone up at the same time (it used to be 83 in the US).
I think I read somewhere you need one manager for each seven employees, so if you have just one layer of middle management then there are seven managers and forty nine plebs. Getting above this makes senior management too distant from staff so things start to get dysfunctional.
> Maybe because their firepower has gone up?
Yes, their equivalent of automation.
May 18th, 2017 11:06am
> ...is a "responsibility without authority" one.
Hmmm... I believe that this tag line often belongs to the lower managers, such as, an "IT project manager" who works for a large corporation.
Middle managers are often tasked with creating things like budgets. Keep in mind that there are typically only a handful of executive managers and they primarily focus on the strategic decisions/problems (i.e. long-term stuff).