Dean Freeman in WSJ: Corporate Titles Shouldn’t Matter

in Dean Freeman, News
March 18th, 2014

Number of “Chiefs” shouldn’t impact decision-making

The Wall Street Journal‘s online portal “The Experts,” which features video chats and short online posts from an exclusive group of industry and thought leaders, posed this question to Allen Questrom Professor and Dean Ken Freeman: Does the increase in chief officer titles in many companies help or hinder effective decision-making?

Neither, says Freeman. The number of “Chiefs” in a company shouldn’t affect how decisions are made. Effective leaders employ balance and clarity in the workplace.

In a perfect world, the proliferation of “Chiefs” or other job titles should have no impact whatsoever on decision-making effectiveness.

This phenomenon often represents the ongoing desire of corporations to reward symbolically their best talent.

More broadly, the CEO is responsible for creating an environment of trust, with a compelling strategy, clear priorities and effective execution.

He/she must guard against top-heavy and complex management structures where decision making responsibilities are not clear.

In today’s world of business, rapid change is the byword. Management teams that lack clarity and focus, transparency and accessibility run the risk of losing the competitive race.

View “The Experts” post here.