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Line management refers to the management of employees who are directly involved in the production or delivery of products, goods and/or services. As the interface between an organisation and its front-line workforce, line management represents the lowest level of management within an organisational hierarchy (as distinct from top/executive/senior management and middle management).[1]

A line manager is an employee who directly manages other employees and day-to-day operations while reporting to a higher-ranking manager.[2] Related job titles are supervisor, section leader, foreperson, office manager and team leader.[1] They are charged with directing employees and controlling that the corporate objectives in a specific functional area or line of business are met.[1]

Despite the name, line managers are usually considered as part of the organization's workforce and not part of its management class.


Line managers are responsible for implementing and enabling, through their staff, an organisation's people policies and practices in alignment with business objectives and core values.

Their main functions with respect to employees include:

Line managers' activities typically include:

Line management is also responsible for adopting (with the support of senior management) any type of organizational culture change.[3]

The line management function will often cross into other functions vital to the success of a business such as human resources, finance, and risk management. Indeed, at corporations, responsibility for risk management is vested with line management.[4] Human resources obligations are also increasingly being assigned or "devolved" to line managers.[5]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Business/ O. C. Ferrell, Geoffrey A. Hirt, Linda Ferrell (6e ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education. 2019. ISBN 978-1-259-92945-8.
  2. ^ Role and Challenges of a Line Manager. F. John Reh, February 4, 2017
  3. ^ The Scope of Change Lynda Bourne, February 11, 2010
  4. ^ Barton, Thomas L.; Shenkir, William G.; Walker, Paul L. (2002). Making enterprise risk management pay off. Thomas L. Barton, William G. Shenkir, Paul L. Walker. ISBN 9780130087546. Retrieved 2009-07-10. ((cite book)): Missing |author1= (help)
  5. ^ Harris, Hilary; Brewster, Chris; Sparrow, Paul (2003). International human resource management. Hilary Harris, Chris Brewster, Paul Sparrow. ISBN 9780852929834. Retrieved 2009-09-03.