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Managing from the Middle

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BC: References Brisson-Banks, C. V. (2010). Managing change and transitions: A comparison of different models and their commonalities. Library Management, 31(4), 241-252. Ji-Eun, Y. (2012). 7 Principles for Employee Empowerment. SERI Quarterly, 90-94. Stueart, R.D., & Moran, B.B. (2007). Library and information center management (7th ed.). Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

FC: Managing from the Middle Lindsay Grant LSC 502 Professor Mandel March 3, 2013

1: what it means to manage from the middle the challenges to managing from the middle | Themes addressed in this presentation:

2: What does it mean to manage from the middle? | There are 3 basic levels of management in a library: | 1. Top Management: includes directors and associate directors--responsible for overall management 2. Middle Management: includes department heads and branch librarians--carry out policies set by the top management and manage the "subunits" of the organization. 3. First-Line Supervisors: responsible to lead the activities of individual workers in carrying out the day-to day work of the organization (Stueart & Moran, 2007, p. 7)

3: Middle managers become liaisons between the top management and the first-line supervisors. (Stueart & Moran, 2007, p. 7)

4: Many graduates of MLIS programs will end up becoming managers in their first library position. (Stueart & Moran, 2007, p. 7) | Therefore, they will be managing from the middle!

5: Responsibilities of managing from the middle: | 1. Plan--think about and plan what needs to be done and how it will get done 2. Organize--match employees with their talents and decide how the organization should best be structured 3. Human resources--hiring, training, and retaining the necessary individuals to get jobs done 4. Lead--communicate clearly, motivate employees--create culture in which everyone has a stake 5. Control--monitor to ensure the organization is on the right path and meeting goals (Stueart & Moran, 2007, p. 9-10)

6: Managers need to possess numerous skills to be successful. | 3 of the most important for managing from the middle: | People Skills | Analytical Skills | Problem-Solving Skills

7: 1. People Skills -Managing from the middle involves the ability to communicate clearly to both the top management and the front-line supervisors. -It also involves the ability to really "know" individuals so that you understand their strengths and weaknesses as professionals. (Stueart & Moran, 2007, p. 15)

8: 2. Problem Solving Skills -Along with managing from the middle comes making decisions and making changes. This often results in problems that need to be solved along the way. -Managers need to have a keen ability to problem solve which involves thinking critically and communicating clearly in order to reach the best possible solution. (Stueart & Moran, 2007, p. 14)

9: 3. Analytical Skills - Managers must possess the ability to make an assessment and base decisions on a logical, well-thought out, and perhaps even data driven analysis. -Managers who possess good analytical skills can use this to justify decisions to both top management and front-line supervisors. (Stueart & Moran, 2007, p. 14)

10: The Challenges to Managing from the Middle | CHANGE and DELEGATION | Though there are certainly many challenges-- both long term and on a daily basis-- two of the most significant are:

11: CHANGE | According to Brisson-Banks (2009) "change is evident everywhere from the simplest everyday changes to the most difficult situations encountered by human resource (HR) managers as management grapples with reorganizations, downsizing and/or cutbacks. A crucial factor in the effectiveness of an organization is the ability to adapt to change (French and Delahaye, 1996) (p. 241).

12: -A manager is a key element in helping an organization respond to and adapt to change. -It is the manager's role to disseminate information to front-line supervisors about change that has come down from top management. -A manager may be instituting their own changes in the library. -No matter the situation, it is the managers responsibility to communicate clearly and effectively and create the best possible plan to ensure that change takes place as smoothly as possible--without leaving any employees behind.

13: DELEGATION | Along with implementing change successfully, managers must possess the ability to successfully delegate responsibilities among employees.

14: -According to YE Ji-Eun (2012) "a recent IBM Research survey of 1,700 high ranking managers in 64 countries found that empowering employees is a key factor in achieving outstanding corporate performance" (p. 90). -Ji-Eun (2012) notes, however, that there are three barriers or challenges to delegation which would presumably empower employees and cause them to feel a greater sense of job satisfaction (p. 90). -The three barriers, which prevent employee empowerment are: 1. Anxiety 2. Distrust 3. Poor Communication (Ji-Eun, 2012, p. 91)

15: 1. Anxiety: "Leaders may feel anxiety about their own job security. They equate empowering employees to ceding control and fear it will backfire on them, endangering their position" (Ji-Eun, 2012, p. 91). | 2. Distrust: "Distrust in employees hinders the delegation of authority. Leaders may doubt their employees’ ability to perform important tasks properly without close supervision." (Ji-Eun, 2012, p. 91). | 3. Poor communication: "lack of communication may leave employees unprepared to take on more responsibility. Inability to convey needs can result in an attitude of “If I want it done right, I should do it myself,” hindering the delegation of autonomy to employees" (Ji-Eun, 2012, p. 91).

16: THE GOOD NEWS! | Solving the challenges to managing from the middle will prevent you from potentially becoming...

17: or... | Image from the public domain | Image from the public domain

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