In our modern economy many industries are facing a shortage of managerial talent. At the same there is a need to improve the responsiveness and the collaboration among employees and among different departments and business units.

One possible solution to such problems is the so called self-management. When employees become managers of themselves they start having the authority (and perhaps the accountability?) to hire and train co-workers, to plan day-to-day operations, to present results and to carry out pretty much any activity that was previously performed by someone with a higher rank.

I think self-management has many advantages over traditional hierarchical systems, even more if we consider companies operating in emerging and innovative sectors.

Self-management, however, does not represent a one-size-fits-all solution. As James Heskett from the Harvard Business School questions: “are sufficient numbers of entry-level employees ready for self-management, especially if it requires the application of new technologies to help them perform jobs such as interviewing and hiring new team members or ordering supplies and managing inventories?”.

For further information check out his recent article titled “Are We Ready for Self-Management?”.

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