Co-ordinator fallacy

Modern management theory encourages managers to assign responsibilities to staff; and to hold staff accountable for their performance of those responsibilities. If there is any doubt or ambiguity about staff responsibilities, it is the role of the manager to clarify such responsibilities in consultation with the staff concerned on an individual basis.

Some collectivist organisations eschew the title of ‘manager’ and instead prefer the vague title of ‘co-ordinator’.  So what are the responsibilities of a co-ordinator and for what are they accountable? How is their performance measured? How is a co-ordinator accountable for outcomes achieved (or not achieved) by others?

It almost seems as if there is a deliberate attempt to avoid responsibility and accountability, in favour of some sort of ill-defined collective responsibility. If there is a problem or failure to achieve outcomes, the first reaction of a co-0rdinator is….wait for it….to call a meeting! Not all meetings are a waste of time, but meetings to clarify responsibilities are often unnecessary and inefficient – the antithesis of  effective management.

 

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