by CIO Staff

Different Views from the Top: Management Optimism Depends on Job Function

Oct 28, 20053 mins
Business IT Alignment

In our recent research, we found that senior executives and managers have different attitudes on numerous issues that relate to work and business in genera

For example, senior executives (CEO, chairman, president, senior vice president, general manager, etc.) are somewhat optimistic about how much strength the economy will gain over the next 12 months, with three quarters of them seeing it strengthen.

Meanwhile, two times more managers (assistant vice president, director, manager, supervisor, etc.) than senior executives say the economy will lose strength.

Senior executives see business growth as the biggest issue facing their organization today while the majority of managers place business efficiency at the top of the list.

When it comes to overall employee morale at their department or organization, more than two-thirds of senior executives see it as high while only half of managers feel the same way.

And when it comes to their personal morale at work, 78 percent of executives say it is high compared to 64 percent of managers.

The reasons for the differing points of view could range from amount of access to information to interactions with employees and customers, not to mention personal experience and rank in an organization. Though the individual viewpoints cannot readily be altered, realizing the viewpoints of others could be helpful in communicating and executing.

There also are similarities in viewpoints. For example, conducting business would be better if more people would respect our time, according to 85 percent of executives and 85 percent of managers. However, while less than half of managers see using cell phones appropriately as a way to improve conducting business, three-quarters of executives see it that way.

Concerning the amount of external regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley that affect departments or organizations, 73 percent of managers say the regulations have increased compared to 88 percent of executives. These external regulations have increased the personal workload of 65 percent of managers and 75 percent of senior executives.

Half of both executives and managers think that chief executives should spend more time externally focusing on customers while 5 percent of senior executives say their time should be spent internally focusing on employees, compared to 12 percent of managers.

When it comes to serving customers, 70 percent of senior executives say their organization emphasizes acquiring new customers, while only 56 percent of managers see it that way. The majority of managers say that their organizations emphasize exceeding the best customers’ needs.

Senior executives are on the road more than managers, with 46 percent of them having traveled 11 or more times within the past 12 months. Only 23 percent of managers traveled that much. The future travel pattern looks the same, with 49 percent of senior executives planning to travel 11 or more times within the next year, compared to 27 percent of managers.

Both executives and managers are being shortchanged in vacations. With 85 percent of executives and 71 percent of managers entitled to four weeks or more, less than 40 percent of either group takes it all.

By taking into account each other’s viewpoint and perspective, senior executives and managers will at least have a better chance of aligned communication.