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The Truth About Middle Managers: Who They Are, How They Work, Why They Matter
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"Mr. Osterman shows how profoundly the work life of the middle manager has changed in the past couple of decades." --WSJ.com
"The Truth About Middle Managers, offers some illuminating insights about managers' value…The result is that The Truth About Middle Managers doubles as a scholarly work and an oral history of today's Organization Man." --BusinessWeek
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Top customer reviews
1. MM resent the CEO high pay.
2. MM hated the frequent restructuring.
3. MM were not interested in moving up the corporate ladder,
because CEOs were normally hired from outside the firm.
4. MM did well in their jobs.
These are the truth about MM. I do not see anything new here. For any one working in any US firm, you find the same truth holds true. MM or not, if a person does not do this job well, he/she is let go quickly.
Save your money on this one.
I have read some of the negative literature about middle management and why it is supposedly a level of management that needs to be eliminated. I have also debated others on the role of middle management and why it is important to the success of a company. Most take the side that says middle management is a hinderance to corporate efficiency and should be scaled back, but this book has an entirely different point of view. This book takes a stand in favor of middle management and it offers statistics and official research to back its claims. The author has studied management for some time and, according to his research, middle management is not only important, its numbers are increasing. There are a larger percentage of middle managers today than in the past and this trend is likely to continue over time. Many readers will find this difficult to believe, given the talk about eliminating layers of middle management by certain large companies, but there is statistical data to back it up.
Why are middle managers so important? This book offers several reasons why, but it really comes down to one important fact: The critical decisions that middle managers make every day, directly affecting the day- to- day functions of a company. Upper- level management, such as CEO, CFO, CIO, etc., make important decisions, too, but not to the numeric degree that middle managers make decisions and these decisions, taken together, are crucial to the success of any company. I can certainly confirm this, based on my own experience as a middle manager. In my years working in management, I have made hundreds of small decisions. They probably didn't seem like much at the time, but when all of these decisions are added together, they equal a sum that is far greater than the individual parts. The role of middle management is changing and security in the job isn't as good as it was in the past, but there is no denying the importance of this layer of management.
The Truth About Middle Managers is written in a very academic way. Some will find this style a little boring, but as a part- time educator and adjunct professor, I like this writing style and the author is very effective in his delivery. This book is written from an intellectual angle and there is no doubt that the author obviously knows what he is talking about. He is not only intelligent, but his delivery is logical and reasonable. I also like that this book defends the importance of middle managers. Far too many books bash middle management and claim this level of management is on the way out, even though reality paints an entirely different picture.
The Truth About Middle Managers is a very good, very well- written volume about middle management and the importance of maintaining a middle management level in all companies. Middle management makes important decisions on a daily basis and these decisions can have a significant impact on a businesses' bottom line. This book discusses the importance of middle management, its changing role, and its future with a good deal of efficiency. It is a little on the dry side, but the academic nature of this book makes it a good choice for those who want to know the facts and want some tools to guide them as they make future management decisions.
The book ends, seemingly in the same place it begins, saying that most middle managers are committed to their jobs and colleagues, but that they have lost much of their commitment to their firms and are suspicious of upper management. But...isn't this true of the workforce as a whole? Aren't we all, management or no, recognizing that there is no loyalty to be had from most companies and that upper management (speaking here of CEOs in particular) is living in an entirely different universe than the average American worker?
Again, I am perhaps not the right audience for this book, but I just didn't find much that was enlightening regarding either my day to day life or career as a middle manager. Times have changed for employees, on all levels of the org chart.
I did find one section that really struck home, though. In defining "middle managers" - Osterman does it well. "Middle managers are responsible for both internal and external management of teams, act as the transmission belt between the top of the organization and the bottom, and make day-to-day choices and trade-offs that escape the attention of top management yet are central to the organization's performance."
Too true, too true.