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Communication Flow Between Management and Production Floor

In one of the plants where I worked, when employees would approach the Team Manager with new ideas he'd say: "You be quiet, they brought me here to think and you to work".  This statement, which is definitely extreme, has resurfaced, turning up in various guises in many different places.

Why?

There is no definitive answer to this question and it certainly has many different interpretations.

It seems that the manager who is closest to the "ground level" or the production floor, feels threatened when his "underlings" shine, and therefore prevents the flow of information from management to the employees and vice versa, hinders the flow of employees' ideas to the administration.  

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