Nicolai J. Foss, Peter G. Klein – Why Managers Matter
As business struggles to adapt to a rapidly changing world, managers are bombarded with a bewildering array of schemes for how to be a boss and make an organization tick. It’s tempting to be seduced by futurist fantasies where every company has the culture of a startup, and where employees in wacky, whimsical office settings, liberated from hierarchies and bosses that oppress them, are the foundation for breakthrough performance.
“Get real,” warn Nicolai J. Foss and Peter G. Klein. These fads ironically lead to micromanaging and, often, to disaster. Companies and societies, they show, need authority and hierarchy to coordinate work, including creative work. And, counterintuitively, Foss and Klein illustrate how the creative use of authority and hierarchy helps companies to be more agile and flexible, enabling educated, motivated people and teams to thrive.
And not a moment too soon: Foss and Klein provide evidence that global challenges such as the proliferation of artificial intelligence, economic disruption, empowered knowledge workers, and black swan events such as the pandemic actually make hierarchy and the job of the manager more important than ever.