1-1 Managers at all levels of an organization spent a large part of their time providing leadership to their subordinates. First-line managers are likely to rely on their technical skills to help them in their duties while those managers who are recent college graduates may rely on the courses they took in school to help them. Generally, first-line managers are responsible for directing the work of their subordinates based on information received from their own supervisors.
Middle managers are responsible not for the day-to-day operations of an organization (that is the first-line manager's responsibility), but for longer term operations. In this way, the middle manager allocates resources, often on an annual basis, and sets priorities for the various groups which report to the middle manager. Where first-line managers may be involved in how production is accomplished, for example, middle managers are interested primarily not in how something is done, but ensuring that it is done on time and in accordance with the organization's strategic goals.
Top managers plan the overall direction of the company, seek out strategic opportunities for the business and generally involve themselves in the long-term operation of the organization. These managers rely on their subordinates (middle managers) to handle most aspects of the company's operations and are instead interested in the competitive position of the organization and its external environment.
2 When the Louisville facility was turned over to the employees, the responsibilities of the on-site managers shifted as the managers themselves changed. Where the facility was once managed by "corporate" managers who presumably had training in management, although not necessarily training with the Louisville production process, the new managers are likely to be first-time managers who have risen through the ranks of the production line. As a result, these managers may not have the a...