Can Pharma Middle Managers Be More than Corporate Water Carriers?

We've just published, in print and online, our latest cover story: “The Good Fight: The Plight of Pharma’s Middle Managers.” It’s a rich, timely topic, given the fact that much of the finger pointing regarding the industry's problems is aimed at mid-level professionals. Or they are implicitly faulted, as upper management absolves itself of responsibility. (See J&J’s recent internal report on the problems at McNeil and DePuy.) Middle managers are often seen as “expendable” and are let go (as happened at Pfizer-Wyeth) or, at times, viewed as incompetent and Dilbertesque.

That’s far from the truth, of course. In a sidebar to the main article, we speak with several middle managers (some anonymously) about the trials and challenges of their work. I find it refreshing that most of them appreciate the difficult spot they’re in—between senior management and production floor workers—but relish the chance to make a difference in their companies and in the industry.

In the main article itself, several industry consultants discuss the dangers of “being the good corporate water carrier” and offer their advice on how pharma’s middle managers can establish relevance and find success.

Thanks to all those who helped in researching this article. Here are links to the main and related articles:

The Good Fight: The Plight of Pharma’s Middle Managers

Tales from the Middle (talks with industry middle managers)

Shoring Up Pharma’s Middle Management: An Interview with Maxiom’s Scott Chizzo

Jane Chin: How Pharma’s Managers-Once-Removed Can Claim Relevance

Managing Change Management in Pharma: A Talk with Bill Wilder

Wharton’s Ethan Mollick: Why Middle Managers May Be the Most Important People In Your Company

--Paul Thomas


Show Comments
Hide Comments

Join the discussion

We welcome your thoughtful comments.
All comments will display your user name.

Want to participate in the discussion?

Register for free

Log in for complete access.


  • <p>can't forget the little man out there!</p> <p>- Bella The Pitbull 
Check out the cute pitbull pictures
 <a href=""></a></p>


  • <p>I completely agree with you and I think it is a better way to discuss such matter.</p> <p><b><a href="">Software Testing Services</a></b></p>


  • <p>underrated in their significance, and yet they're often the first individuals to be blamed for operational issues or to be laid off during restructurings.<a href="">love quotes for her</a> </p>


  • <p>Yes I think they can. I went to a <a href="">career guidance</a> councilor several years ago and now I run a big pharmaceutical company from Europe. If you fight for it you can go all the way to the top. I am not saying that anyone can do it but you need a lot of willpower for this and not many people have it.</p>


  • <p>You have made some excellent points there. Used to do they’re certified inside subject and barely found any specific info other websites, but great in order to be here, seriously, thanks. Thanks so much for this! I have not been this thrilled by a blog post for quite some time! You’ve got it, whatever that means in blogging. Anyway, You’re definitely someone that has something to say that people should hear. Keep up the wonderful job. Keep on inspiring the people! ========================================================== <a href="">6002.1</a>// <a href="">6101.1</a>// <a href="">E20-018</a>// <a href="">E20-329</a>// <a href="">HP0-J48</a>// <a href="">HP0-Y31</a>// <a href="">000-115</a>// <a href="">JN0-643</a>// </p>


  • <p>Hello,I love reading through your blog, I wanted to leave a little comment to support you and wish you a good continuation. Wishing you the best of luck for all your blogging efforts.<a href="">642-415 pdf</a>// <a href="">642-427 exam questions</a>// <a href="">642-437 prep</a>// <a href="">642-447 exam questions</a>// <a href="">642-457 exam questions</a>// <a href="">642-467 exam questions</a>// <a href="">642-481 pdf</a>// <a href="">642-583 papers</a>// </p>


RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments