Category : Articles

No-decision garden path

Seven reasons organisations keep toxic managers

Besides harming subordinates, toxic managers harm the organisations they work in. They incur hidden and indirect costs, competent employees leave, absenteeism increases, and tasks are carried out mechanically. Ultimately, dissatisfaction encourages unproductive talk about the behaviour of the boss. Organisations that leave toxic managers in place never admit it. If they did, they would have […]


Research on no-decision managers

As you might imagine it is impossible to complete serious academic research on no-decision managers. They are unlikely to volunteer to be examined and if management let researchers loose in their organisation in search of them, interviews would have to be done without the knowledge or the consent of the no-decision managers themselves. And then […]


Where no-decision managers thrive

Several Japanese colleagues have suggested to me that no-decision managers would thrive in companies which use the ‘Ringi’ decision-making process common in Japan, so I decided to compare this process with the characteristics of no-decision managers. (Note 1) I have worked in a Japanese company, but never in one that uses the Ringi process to […]


What no-decision managers do all day

If no-decision managers do not make decisions, they must do something during their working day. Their first daily activity is decision-avoidance. Subordinates spend energy and time trying to force them to make decisions. No-decision managers must counter these actions intelligently and properly divert subordinates to prevent them from becoming permanently infuriated. I have identified fifteen […]


How to detect no-decision managers

The paradox of no-decision managers is that they are invisible to their bosses, but visible to their subordinates. Bosses, therefore, find it difficult to detect them, especially more experienced no-decision managers. They have their survival strategies in place and these need to be understood and dismantled to find them. Inexperienced no-decision managers are more likely […]

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