6:

who’s the boss?

INTRODUCTION

What do Americans mean by “the boss” today? Is it the venture capitalists who call the shots and give you the money? Is it the CEO? Is it the vice-president of the Knowledge Management department? Is it the Chief Marketing Officer, or maybe all of these simultaneously in a matrix organization structure?

A literal definition, according to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language,1 is “an employer or a supervisor, one who makes decisions or exercises authority”. Of course, you could opt for their alternative definition as “a circular protuberance or knoblike swelling, as on the horns of certain animals”.

These masters, authorities, directors find themselves now in the most uncertain and fast ...

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