Survey Confirms Importance of Middle Management to Success

November 30, 2005 ( - Middle managers are a super important factor in determining whether a company is going to be successful in the marketplace, according to a new study from MRINetwork.

The study, by MRINetwork, a search and recruitment organization, surveyed 200 HR directors or senior executives in the United States and 200 HR directors or senior executives in the United Kingdom,

According to the study, 79% of US respondents and 64% of UK respondents said that middle managers are critical to the company’s success. Additionally, the survey evaluated where middle managers provide the most value to an organization. In the US respondents cited:

  • customer satisfaction (74%)
  • company morale (73%)
  • hiring and team building (66%)
  • implementation of a CEO’s vision (66%).

Comparatively, UK respondents named company morale (73%) as the most important function, with customer satisfaction (68%), hiring and team building (63%) and sales and productivity (58%) following close behind. In both countries, innovation trailed behind, with only 42% and 38% in the US and UK respectively naming it as a critical job function.

“Middle management represents the beating heart of today’s successful companies,” said William Olson, president and chief executive officer of MRINetwork, in a news release. “For a business to succeed in today’s market, companies must be prepared to make a strong investment in hiring and supporting critical impact players in the mid-management layer of their organizations. But conversely, middle managers still have some work to do to shake the baggage that they are not as innovative as their senior peers. They are clearly innovative, but they need to market this innovation in a more effective manner to ensure their accomplishments are being recognized.”

Additionally, the survey found that in the US and UK a void in middle management can only exist for less than three months before it begins to hurt morale and employees’ ability to perform their daily jobs.

Opinion Research Corporation conducted telephone interviews with 200 Human Resource Directors or Senior Executives in the United States and 200 in the United Kingdom. The interviews took place in the US between July 14 and August 5, 2005, and in the UK between July 14 and August 12, 2005.

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