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In defence of irritating managers and bureaucratic hassle

Varwwwclientsclient1web2tmpphpetys R3It's a truth universally acknowledged that everyone hates managers. Managers are the people destroying your soul with pointless meetings, overly complex procedures for claiming expenses, and stupid team-building awaydays. If you're a teacher, doctor or police officer, managers are why you're always bogged down in paperwork, rather than doing what you're best at. Most of us, write Ray Fisman and Tim Sullivan in their new book The Org: The Underlying Logic Of The Office, "imagine a world without managers as a kind of paradise where workers are unshackled by pointless bureaucracy… a place where stuff actually gets done". Strangely, managers tend to agree. The goal of every lumbering conglomerate is to "become more like a startup" – which usually means buying some vivid furniture, and maybe a ping-pong table, provided Jim in Purchasing can get the expenditure authorised sometime in the next five years.