BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC News in video and audio
Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 January 2008, 17:30 GMT
'No managers' plea from analyst
TV managers
Who's the boss - can you name the TV comedy managers? Answers below
A business analyst is recommending a world without managers, where the staff take ownership of a company themselves.

Dr Paul Thomas, a senior lecturer at the University of Glamorgan, wants to see workers in all organisations have the freedom to be innovative.

He believes managers hold companies back and has called for changes in the workplace in BBC Radio Wales programme, Wales@work.

Dr Thomas says he has faced criticism from both managers and workers.

Seven years ago he founded the think-tank DNA Wales which aims to challenge traditional views of business and work towards getting rid of older-style management.

In the BBC Radio Wales programme Wales@work - The Business Doctor, he sets out to prove to the manufacturing company, Excel Assemblies in Port Talbot how the theory works.

Click here to listen to Wales@Work

"They're very successful - the managing director, John Bosworth, is very much a dynamic leader; he's very much out there with regards to the market place and he's certainly bringing in a lot of successful products and innovations," Dr Thomas said.

Dr Paul Thomas
We're living in yesterday, managing our organisations with 17th or 18th Century techniques
Dr Paul Thomas

"But unfortunately I think what they're suffering with is this 'managerial disease', they're trying to implement creativity and innovation into the workforce by controlling the workforce.

"I think that's the wrong message and the wrong way of doing things."

To date Dr Thomas and his colleagues have worked with 20 organisations, which include a police force and a government department.

He believes if companies scrapped their tiers of management, every member of staff would take ownership of the firm and take responsibility for finding new business - and for hiring and firing.

He concluded the workforce would become happier, more productive and more successful.

But he admitted his message often was not popular and said he was used to being shouted and sworn at.

'Command and control'

Mr Bosworth hoped Dr Thomas would be able to help the productivity of his company but he wanted to be able to offer more job security.

"Whenever I've ever asked anybody whether they would like to have lots of cash or job security, people normally plump for job security," he said.

But Dr Thomas's views have been challenged by the chief executive of Wales Management Council.

Christopher Ward said: "My difficulty with Dr Thomas' argument is that he seems to believe that Welsh industry generally is populated by the wrong sort of management and therefore the right solution is to get rid of managers."

He added: "Increasingly we have seen the emergence of a new generation of leader-managers and servant-leaders whose job function is to achieve precisely what Dr Thomas is seeking - to unlock the potential and innovative capacity of all workers by supporting, encouraging and leading."

Wales@Work - The Business Doctor BBC Radio Wales at 1832 GMT on Tuesday. Answers to the photo above - clockwise top left, David Brent (The Office), CJ (Fall and Rise Of Reginald Perrin), Mr Rumbold (Are You Being Served?) and Gordon Brittas (The Brittas Emire).


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific