Managers Think Workers Are Stupid and Other Critical Errors

Today’s feature in meaningless survey research is this new poll by the American Management Association on American workers communication skills. MSN is reporting that ‘American workers fall short’. Should anyone be surprised that this is the conclusion of the American Management Association?

There’s an obvious bias right there on the part of the executives who are being surveyed. Would it really be in their interest to say that American’s workers are doing well? Global competition is a great way to make workers work harder.

But the reporting is even more misleading. If you look at the survey you see that most executives report that their workers are ‘average’

or ‘above average’ when it comes to skills such as critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. The scale has 5 points - lowest ability, below average, average, above average, and highest ability.

Most people should be average - that’s the whole point of being average. If we expect those skills to be normally distributed in the population than the average should be the highlest level. I don’t see anything to be surprised about. There is no way for every company to have the highest level of people because then there wouldn’t be any differences between individuals. It’s the Lake Woebegone effect.

Todd Suomela
Associate Director for Digital Pedagogy & Scholarship Department

My interests include digital scholarship, citizen science, leadership, and communications.