Are chief executives and managers overrated?

The cult of the CEO appears to be losing touch with reality

In today’s corporate culture, many are arguing that the cult of the CEO has reached absurd proportions, with their portraits gracing business magazine covers and their words of wisdom being quoted throughout the media world. Some bosses believe the hype, and an Economist Intelligence Unit survey found that many of them are convinced that their words and actions are crucial in motivating employees. However, another recent study found that chief executives account for just 5% of the performance of a typical Fortune 500 company.
Middle managers, meanwhile, are finding that their days may be numbered. Large companies have cut down on bureaucracy by dismissing hundreds of thousands of them since the financial crisis began. But a certain number are essential in acting as a filter for the company – a bridge between lower ranking workers and the strategy and wisdom of the board.
The Economist


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