Will Sr. Managers Change? LO7671

Ben Compton (BCOMPTON@novell.com)
Wed, 29 May 1996 08:59:54 -0700

Replying to LO7643 --

Joan write:

>The most important aspect of this human condition is that the boss
> gets to decide how employees will act, what they do. If the boss
> acts a certain way, employees will not be fearsome of their jobs
> and will creatively commit themselves to do their best against the
> highest standards of performance available, against all high value
> standards. This includes being the best as concerns LO. Similarly,
> the boss can act in a different way and cause employees to be
> dishonest, play their cards close to their vest, not perform up to
> normal value standards and not be good for LO.

>So it is up to the boss to decide which actions he/she will use
> because the response of employees has been preordained. If you
> are interested in knowing what these actions are, email me
> separately.

I don't necessarily disagree with what Joan has said, however I think it
is not an incomplete position. The dynamics of the system will largely
dictate the "bosses" (or manager) behavior. And so in the end, everyone is
responding to the systemic forces which most people don't even know exist.
People who are placed in the same system will usually produce the same

In my career I have seen groups literally chase their manager away -- get
him/her fired, demoted, promoted, etc. -- thinking that their problems
were directly related to that person. When the group "enthrones" someone
whom they believe will solve their problems, they become startled when
that person makes decisions similar to -- if not identical -- to the
manager who was just removed.

Out of this cycle comes a conviction deep in the heart of the group that
all managers are incompetent and cannot be trusted to do the right thing
at the right time (the team I am currently working with has accepted this
as an irrefutable fact). In reality, the manager has simply succumbed to
systemic forces. I think to a large degree this is what contributes to
"conspiratorial learning organizations" -- where the employees participate
in a rich learning environment which excludes their management (I too have
seen this dynamic, and have been disconcerted that it surfaces as
frequently and belligerently as it does).

>From my viewpoint, as long as managers remain ignorant of the
dynamics of the system they are operating in, I see little hope for any
fundamental change in behavior.


Benjamin B. Compton ("Ben") | email: bcompton@novell.com Novell GroupWare Technical Engineer | fax: (801) 222-6991

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>