Structure of Middle Management (L . D. White’s Analysis)

Structure of Middle Management:

The middle-level managers, supervisors, head clerks, section officers, and other such functionaries are at work at all levels. Middle Management, with a few exceptions, covers bureau chiefs, division and section heads, other intermediate grades, and the departmental auxiliary agencies. In the British public services, there are separate establishments of management. In the USA, formal differentials or barriers do not exist, though the three zones of work- Top, Middle, and Lower- can be easily demarcated. In India, there is not one service performing middle management functions. Each government department is manned by its own services appointed on different principles and under different conditions. However, these are recruited by the Public Service Commission under specific rules and set standards. The undersecretaries, section officers, heads of attached and subordinate offices, officers of field establishments, heads of departmental auxiliary agencies, and the like, all constitute middle management in India.

In his work “Introduction to Public Administration” Prof. L. D. White, while discussing the structure of Middle Management, identifies its four parts:

(1) The Bureau- The Bureau is the principal unit of the department. It functions under the general direction of the head of the department. The Burea is a highly stable unit; plans for reorganization move bureaux into new combinations with each other, but seldom tear them apart or abolish them. Within a Bureau, problems of the general management, while not absent, tend to give way to technical problems. The Bureau, in short, is the fundamental working unit of administration; the department is a coordinating device, keeping in effective contact with related blocks of work and serving as a channel of communication with the chief executive and legislative bodies. At this level also, Middle Management works at the second level i.e., next to the top managers.

(2) The Division- The Division is immediately below the Bureau. The Divisions work within a bureau. The number of Divisions in any department depends upon the scope and activities of the department. Each division has middle-level officers like section heads.

(3) The Branch, Section, and Units- The branches, sections, and units are necessary only for big divisions. In the small divisions, the supervisor and a smaller number of rank-and-file personnel do substantially the same task. “The specific management function at this stage is supervision. Work has to be assigned, employees instructed and trained, records kept, supplies furnished, performance watched, morale and discipline maintained, and production kept up.”

(4) The level of specific performance- At the broad base of the hierarchy is the level of specific performance. It consists of hundreds and thousands of employees who are engaged in doing specific work. As such from the chowkidar or clerk to the top-level executive or engineer in the department, are parts of this great structure.

Middle Management is at work at all these levels.

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