On authority and its exercise

In my workplace, there's an interesting dynamic between management and employee, and i guess i just gave it enough thought to comment on it.

I don't know how many people reading this have a work environment like this one, but at $COMPANY, there's little to no separation between managers and staff. A few months or weeks before i started, management was punted from their offices and placed in low-walled, doorless cubicles out on the work floor, probably with the intent of making them more accessible to the staff, as though we were all on one "team" (That has to be $COMPANY's favourite word, as far as i can tell)

Anyway, in a sense, this has worked. I, for one, find my manager very approachable, and i can certainly see the advantages that this holds. On the other hand, though, i have some reservations about the lack of visible separation that fails to match up to the actual division of authority.

When management is working closely with the staff, as it is here, it's easy to forget where the power lies. Yes, the job wouldn't happen without the workers, but the managers have the power to harm or terminate the employment of their subordinates. It seems to me that this risks causing greater, not lesser, problems with management if they're ever in a position to make unpopular decisions - it will come as a shock, in a sense, because the managers will otherwise seem to be almost friends or co workers, not bosses.

This seems to me to be related - culturally speaking, at any rate - to the way that childrearing happens in our society. I was talking with one of my co workers the other day, and she - being of the same age as i - had more or less the same opinion as i do, that the generation that follows us is descending further into entitlement, self-absorption, and general worthlessness than even our own pathetic excuse for an age group.

How is this related?

Read child rearing books produced in the last several years (up to twenty, say). They share a common theme - Be your child's friend. Apparently , it's harmful to a child's self esteem if they aren't equal partners in the decision making process, and so they won't grow up as full, self-actualized adults if you don't pander to their childish demands in their youth.

And then, when a parent tries to exercise what shreds of authority that they have left with their children, imagine how a teenager, raised as an 'equal', feels when their pa[l|rent] suddenly tells them that they can't do something.

It's funny, but i don't think this way works. Just look at kids these days. Hell, look at kids my age. We're overall a pretty pathetic lot. And unless there's a shift in the direction of society as a whole, it's just gonna get worse.

Anyone scared yet?

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