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Archive for August 2nd, 2010

In Corporate America Powerlessness Corrupts

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They say that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. 

But what about powerlessness?   According to Rosabeth Moss Kanter, in an article in the July-August issue of Harvard Business Review, powerlessness can corrupt as well – but in a different sort of way.

In some large corporations, strategic plans are done by a few people at the top and then cascaded down to the rest of the organization.   These neat tidy plans, generated by a few, are passed on to the masses who get stuck with the not so tidy, not so pleasant, and messy job of execution.

Those who get hit hardest are those in the middle – middle managers.  Squeezed by scarcity of resources, hemmed in by bureaucracy, and treated as unimportant (“in the middle” – not executives), Kanter observes that, under some circumstances, these folks –  “get even”. 

They “get even” because, caught in the middle, they are powerless.

How Managers “get even” in the face of powerlessness

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Written by frrl

August 2, 2010 at 6:18 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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