Arguments against Line Officers by the Staff Advisors – Essay

The staff advisors have their own arguments against line officers. Some of the often repeated arguments aye as follows:

(a) Line managers generally do not make a proper use of the services of staff specialists. The staff personnel often expect their expert services should be demanded at all levels of the organisation. As against this, line managers consult them only as a last resort.

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(b) Staff specialists lack authority to have their ideas implemented. This creates frustration among them.

In order to get cordial relationship between the line and staff people the following steps are necessary:

(a) Line and staff people should try to understand the orientation of each other. They should try to achieve cooperation for the achievement of enterprise objectives.

(b) The staff specialists should try to appreciate the difficulties in implementing the new ideas. They should not consider it as a prestige issue if sometimes their advice is not followed by the line managers.

(c) The limits of line and staff authority should be laid down clearly. It should be made clear that line has the ultimate responsibility for the implementation of various decisions and staff is responsible only providing advice and service to the line executives.

(d) Line managers should act on the advice of staff personnel, and if they disagree with their proposals, they should give reasons for that to convince the staff personnel.

It appears that line and staff distinction is further based on the assumption that, those who are good at thinking and planning, are not good in doing and vice-versa. This assumption has also gone wrong in the complex industrial world.

In practice, three types of authority namely line, staff and functional are not granted to three categories of persons. In order to avoid the conflicts it is essential to clearly define the various authority relations. This will help in improving the working of the organisation by avoiding the gap and overlapping of authority and responsibility.