Globalization And The End Of Middle Management

By Shaun Z. Stevens

It is most important to function as a team player at your workplace.

The availability of management information for all employees, the rapid rate of technological change and advances, and the competitive pressures of globalization have all combined to result in unpredictable staffing needs and fundamental shifts in the workplace in terms of the structures and business plans of companies , businesses and organizations.

The shift is away from management directed companies and towards team directed ‘flat’ or ‘horizontally’ managed organizations. This ultimately works to increase individual’s responsibilities. It used to be that lower level employees were there to be ‘told what to do’ by middle management and ‘to do’ and ‘not to think’. The comedy was that this was all delusional as America grew and the workplace became more educated. The front line worker knows more of what is going on than any sheltered executive at ‘head office’ surrounded by ‘yes men’. Most companies towards the end of the top down pre globalization era survived mainly through customer interaction with the front line workers.


Companies have changed. Customers and even generally the average person on the street ‘know more’. Gone are the days where customers are afraid to ask for product comparisons and indeed seek third party references. It used to be that in a Chevy dealership if you asked for comparative product information you were told at the best ‘This is a Chevy and that is a Ford.’ Now at dealer sales meetings dealers are often taught and examined on comparisons between actual completive vehicles on the spot.

People know expect quicker results. It used to be said that it took 7 to 10 years to design a new car and bring it to market. Now it can be routinely done in a year and half. Information is now available much quicker from almost anywhere in the world and from almost any location worldwide from workers at any level. Some say indeed that the pace is too quick and often there is no time for proper deliberation and consultation before decisions are made. Faxes, emails, cell phones, text messaging, blackberries all add to this quickening mix.

As such the current trend is not only towards more prompt results but also for larger. More complex workloads. Multitasking is the buzzword. Contrast this to previous established business models where the worker on Henry Ford’s assembly line was only expected and indeed demanded to turn only one screw and to follow the directions of middle management. Middle managements role indeed was to convey information up and down the ladder. How times have changed. Technology and expectations and education of workers have more than eliminated and bypassed this role.

In the end it is the ability to solve problems quickly, to be resourceful, to use technology to enhance productivity and to manage multiple priorities that will make you an essential part of the new management team along with the willingness to work longer but more flexible hours.

About the Author: Shaun Z. Stevens Ace Employment Job Employment Agency


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