Every business has management. Small businesses might have just an owner and a manager, but large businesses typically have at least three layers of management. Executive management is the top layer, and executives are charged with determining the strategic direction of the company. Middle management is responsible for carrying out the strategic visions of the executives by working closely with a team of low-level managers such as assistant managers or shift managers.
Middle management is exactly what is sounds like -- management that supervises lower level managers and reports to executive level management. Middle management positions have developed a reputation as difficult jobs because these managers must convince lower level managers and rank and file employees to carry out what may not be popular orders from executives. Furthermore, middle management is often considered to be a dead end, as relatively few middle managers make it to the executive ranks, and middle managers are typically the first to be laid off in a downturn.
Department heads in larger companies typically are middle management positions. Facilities manager, sales manager, chief accountant and production supervisor are all typical middle management positions. These managers report to the general manager, and typically supervise assistant managers who make sure employees get the work done.
Store or Unit Manager
A store manager or a unit manager is another common middle management job. This individual might be in charge of an entire store or even a group of stores, but still reports to a chief operations officer or vice president in charge of that division in a very large corporation.
Project managers are another middle management position that has grown significantly over the last few decades. Project managers are typically responsible for a specific project from start to finish, and are most often involved in the planning stages, as well. Project managers work with a wide variety of specialists on their teams, and it is their job to coordinate all project activities and make certain that X gets done before Y, and that Z will be ready to go when Y is finished. Project managers usually report to executive management.
Clayton Browne has been writing professionally since 1994. He has written and edited everything from science fiction to semiconductor patents to dissertations in linguistics, having worked for Holt, Rinehart & Winston, Steck-Vaughn and The Psychological Corp. Browne has a Master of Science in linguistic anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.