"There was a day - not long ago, in fact - when the only real conflict in manufacturers was between management and labor. One offshoot of the current rampant strategy to outsource and send manufacturing to places with unpronounceable names is the abandonment of dedicated manufacturing managers. As the senior folks redefine management more as the art and science of spinning off, merging, acquiring and other wise uprooting the lives of their employees in some sort of grand game of industrial Monopoly; instead of the hard work of actually making and selling products, middle managers are more and more finding common cause with production workers than executives."
"Alfred Sloan once pompously wrote, "What then is General Motors?" He answered his own question that it was not the 220,000 production employees. Instead, it was the 10,000 people in management. His bias toward the value of management and disregard for the people who actually added value and made cars was arrogant enough. Today, however, the senior managers of many of these big companies would reject the notion that Sloan's 10,000 have much to do with it. The heart, they seem to think, is the dozen or so strategy and finance wizards who sit around the boardroom. And nothing else matters."
What Bill is pointing out in this posting is not unique to manufacturing companies. You don't have to look far on the Blogosphere to find anonymous Bloggers (highly educated knowledge workers) from many industries saying similar things.
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