Saturday, July 12, 2014

Does management justify its own costs?

Throughout history, the university systems of the world have evolved from a monastic model, through the industrial model as a driver of social mobility, to the latest, which is the ‘business’ model.
Like all models, this one has assumptions. In this case, the underlying but usually unstated one is that the faculty who teach and research, and the people who maintain the buildings, are not working hard enough.
The proposed solution is to add layers of middle managers, whose only contribution is to ‘motivate’ and generate policies to make everything ‘more efficient’.
The sad reality is that no amount of increased efficiency or hard work on the producers of the system can make up for the cost of this increased administration.
A cynic might argue that the only purpose of these changes is to provide jobs for those who can’t do anything productive.


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A K Haart said...

Maybe middle managers are there to insulate senior managers from what is actually going on. It reduces anxiety.

Sackerson said...

AKH: I see this at work. The middle manager is the corn between the millstones.