Police and Conscience to the Line

Given top management as their client, staff groups have drawn their strength from their role in policing, auditing, and acting as a conscience. Top management creates policy, and the staff groups are responsible for seeing to its implementation. A key financial person is called the controller. Not exactly a subtle or ambiguous job title. A staff unit responsible for controlling expenditures of operating groups is parenting in action. Human resources has managers of compensation. The compensation unit is designed to make sure that line people stay within compensation policy guidelines. Both are reasonable goals, but the staff groups easily become the parenting and patriarchal conscience of the institution. They ...

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