Management Induced Turmoil is Counter-Productive

dimstar29.jpgUnderstanding you will not get along with everyone you work with in your life, is a realization that comes with maturity. Knowing that everyone in a large work place is not going to see eye to eye, should be basic business 101.  So why has management of many large companies decided to exacerbate this problem?

 When I worked for the Board of Education I thought the discontent among the faculty was just a way of weeding out teachers who were disliked.  Since then, I realize this is a national phenomenon.  Every large employer I have worked for (and there have been many) has incorporated this same antagonistic management style of pitting employees against one another.

Is the goal to avoid the formation of labor unions and destroy existing ones?  This is possibly the best guess I can come up with.  Turning one group of employees against another makes union activity difficult.  However, most labor unions today have clauses in their contract that prohibits anti-union activity by the Company. Is this a blatant disregard for these clauses? I say yes. So why does there seem to be no reaction from any labor unions around the country?

Is this ‘management technique’ a diversion? Well, if you agree with the previous paragraph then the answer has to be yes.  It is a dog and pony show, which the company uses to thinly mask it’s anti union activities.

The next best answer I could come up with was; Abraham Lincoln used the same technique in deciding whom to appoint within his cabinet. Is this ‘management technique’ simply an adaptation of a savvy political move by one of our nation’s great Presidents? This is a plausible answer since most of the Upper Management of large corporations tend to be limited in the area of original thinking. The problem arising from this is that Lincoln used the technique in order to buy time at a pivotal moment in U.S. history. Is this the technique businesses should be employing at a time when America finds itself slipping behind the other industrialized nations of the world? I think the answer to that is clear. 

We need labor and management joined together as a team driving American industry forward. This antagonistic managerial style is doing just the opposite. To quote a fellow worker, when speaking of the managers at the company for which I’m employed, “I wouldn’t pull over and piss on any of them if they where lying beside the road on fire”.

This is certainly not the labor-management dynamic that drove American industry in the past. If this type of antagonism had been present not so long ago, maybe Joseph McCarthy would have actually had a true fight on his hands.

Not only have today’s executives created discontent among subordinate employees, they have also managed to create division among the management ranks as well.  Today’s large scale employers are a vast array of armed camps each looking suspiciously at the other. And because of this productivity is severly limited.

The final option, as to why things have gone this far, is that people in positions of authority today lack the self confidence, and many times the skill and/or experience, to effectively manage. If they keep their subordinates quibbling, then they insulate themselves from criticism and/or resposibility.

Whatever the reason, we need to bring an end to this counter-productive management style.  American business was built on industrialization and team work, let us find our way back to those basic ideas for the good of everyone.

And remember to take your coffee break.



~ by DimStar on June 1, 2007.

3 Responses to “Management Induced Turmoil is Counter-Productive”

  1. I find myself losing all motivation at work for the same reason.
    You have hit on a nerve here.

  2. I don’t think this is anything new at all. Management and labor (and owners) have always had antagonistic and often violent and hateful relationships.

    They’re both, in theory, working towards the same goal but in reality they’re not. Management wants the job done as quickly and cheaply as possible so there’s more money for the owners and/or investors.

    Workers, in general, are more interested in getting a paycheck and doing as little as possible to get it.

    Many managers are really workers who have a “better” title. They’re cogs in the machine just like the worker.

    If you look at the history of the US and indeed the world you’ll see that workers are generally treated as expendable cogs in the machine because really they are. If one factory worker dies there are 10,000 others to take his place. That’s pretty much true in any industry on up into middle management.

    Often the greed and selfishness and arrogant attitudes of the owners/ CEO/president trickles down to the factory floor. One the other hand good leadership can positively affect the company.

    Also many managers are promoted to management because they were a good worker or they have seniority. That’s a recipe for disaster since the skills it takes to be a worker are quite different than those it takes to effectively manage people.

    Of course I’ve just spoken in broad generalization and there are many exceptions. There are companies that treat their workers well and those companies quite often do better financially than the old antagonistic management style.

    Let’s hope that more companies realize that it’s better to be in partnership than antagonistic.

  3. Dim,

    I don’t usualy agree with you but your on this. I would like to add a few thoughts. I have been in the military (12yrs) and was taught that to suceed you must work together as a team. We have 5 branches of services and they must stay in contact and have the upmost faith that each will do what they say and be where they say when thay say. Whats that, commom sense.

    I also am majoring in business managment and I have not had one class that teaches what we are seeing in business today. Why is that when HP restructured and changed there managment style they passed all other computer manufactureres. Just 3 years ago the were about to fold there computer operation when they hired a new VP. was he the sole reason for the turn around? He dosen’t even think so, he attributes there sucess to the employs haveing a commom goal.

    Your right Dim. Le4ave the people with the most knowledge of there jobs at there jobs and find people who can be taught to manage do just that. Be taught and listen to them, from the top down.

    The best places I have ever worked were small shops that treated people with respect, like they had a brain(even if they didn’t), and most important as a member of the family. I doubt seriously that managers run their houses like their business.

    I’m not sure there are conspiricies in every stupid thing a manager does, sometimes there is, but the lack of compitence. Let an engineer be just that. Why make him a boss? I was taught if it looks rotten and stinks, stop playing with it. Most noneducated managers play with things just becouse they can. If you ever hear a boss say “right or wrong it was my desicion” just go ahead and hide behind some furniture becouse things are going to go to hell in a hurry.

    Even Red Green knows the truth, “We’re all in this together” “Keep your stick on the ice”.

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