Men, Management, and Mental Health

By Harry Levinson; Charlton R. Price et al. | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER IV
INTERDEPENDENCE

" I T does seem to me that times have changed," a manager said. "It's harder to get...employees to be enthusiastic now. There's more around here now interested in five o'clock coming and pay day than there used to be."

He had been reminiscing about his earlier years in the company, when Midland operations in his area had been less extensive, the number of employees smaller, and procedures had been simpler. He contrasted his memory of earlier years with some of the aspects of his current job. As he saw it, there were too many papers to read and sign, too much responsibility and not enough authority, uncooperative subordinates, top management too far away and not fully informed on local conditions. Throughout the interview, he portrayed himself as the unwilling victim of circumstance, a loyal and proven member of the organization who nevertheless was being denied support he felt he deserved from both supervisors and line people. All of this was illustrated repeatedly in his interview in such passages as this one:

In the old days, you didn't have to sign a thousand things like you do now...Maybe the electric department will say one day, "Here's what we have to have done today," and you go out and do that. At the same time the gas wants you to do something. I say, "O.K., but here's a stack of work orders from my boss in Shaw that say I have to do that, too..." [meanwhile] the men say, "I won't worry about that, I'll leave it to the managers."

It was hard for this manager to make decisions -- even about the study. When the researchers sat down in his office to plan a schedule of interviews with company people in the area, it seemed to be very difficult to get the details settled. He had little flexibility

-39-

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