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Middle Management: Striking a Balance

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FC: Middle Management: Striking a Balance | Kirsten Anderson University of Rhode Island | Author Note LSC 502 Management of Library & Information Services taught by Dr. Mandel on October 24, 2012.

1: What is middle management? | The Oxford English Dictionary definition: “the middle level of management in a business or company, esp. comprising departmental managers; managers collectively at this level,” (“Middle management,” n.d.). | The middle acts as a liaison and an implementer; they are branch managers, department heads, and other positions that require supervising while also being a subordinate (Stueart & Moran, 2007; Floyd, 1994).

2: What is managing from the middle? | Image from the public domain | "[Middle managers] must build networks across traditional organizational lines, recruit their own teams to develop their own ideas, and fight status quo practices,” (Knouse, 1993, p.411). | This includes creating budgets, supervising departments and individuals, and handling issues that may arise from misbehavior of subordinates (Floyd, 1994).

3: Why is there more of a focus on upper management? | Image from the public domain | “In short, middle managers are frequently misunderstood by corporate America. Typically, they are seen in strictly operational terms, and their potential for enhancing the quality of firm strategy is discounted or ignored” (Floyd, 1994, p.47). | There is a belief that only upper management can get the company going in the right direction (On Leadership, 2010).

4: What challenges face middle managers? | “Traditional hierarchal organizations squeeze middle managers to the point that they feel out of touch with each other as well as with their own capabilities" (Knouse, 1993, p.411). Upper management expects a lot from the middle management, while also having to cater to the needs of their underlings, in addition to the wide range of tasks assigned to middle mangers such as cutting costs while improving the organization. They are expected to foster the lower employees while telling the upper management what they want to hear. | Image from the public domain

5: References Floyd, S. W., & Wooldridge, B. (1994). Dinosaurs or dynamos? Recognizing middle management's strategic role. The Academy of Management Executive, 8(4), 47. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/210524310?accountid=28991 Knouse, S. B. (1993). The middle management challenge: Moving from crisis to empowerment. Personnel Psychology, 46(2), 411. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/220135457?accountid= 28991 Middle management. (n.d.) In Oxford English Dictionary. Retrieved from http://0-www.oed.com.helin.uri.edu/view/Entry/118140? redirectedFrom=middle+management#eid36758058 On Leadership. (2010, September 5). Senior leaders vs. middle managers: Who matters most? The Washington Post. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp- dyn/content/article/2010/09/04/AR2010090400112.html?referrer= emailarticle Stueart, R. D., & Moran, B. B. (2007). Library and information center management (7th ed.). Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

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