Breaking the Barriers To Executive Growth

by William Diefenbach



Presidents of larger companies would generally agree that one of their hardest jobs is finding the right men to help them run the company. There may be thousands of employees from whom to choose. But only a few are ideally suited to top executive positions. Most presidents tend to regard the line organization as their closest ally in identifying and advancing executive talent. This is quite true in a number of larger corporations. In many others, the line organization itself is actually the biggest single obstacle to the executive growth process. To be sure, the organization wants to help, but the line organization structure makes no allowance of the need for careful, progressive matching of men and jobs. The unit manager, who is at the heart of the assignment process, thus tends to base his decisions on information that is limited to his own particular organization at a single point in time. Considering that assignment decisions are made by every manager in an Organization, the chances against getting the right decision every time for company wide executive growth are staggering.

California Management Review

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Published at Berkeley Haas for more than sixty years, California Management Review seeks to share knowledge that challenges convention and shows a better way of doing business.

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