What is Line Management?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 16 October 2019
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The process of line management has to do with the effective oversight and management of all activities associated with the activities occurring on a production line. With most company organizations, the responsibility of effectively managing a production line is assigned to an individual who is called a line manager or supervisor. The manager is part of the company’s chain of command and is often accountable to an overseer for all events that occur on that production line, both positive and negative.

With line management, the task is to make sure that all company rules and regulations that relate to the operation of that particular function are observed by the employees assigned to that stage of the production process. Within a company structure, there may be a number of different lines or areas associated with that process. In order to ensure the quality of the work generated by each stage or line in the process, the line manager will make sure employees are trained properly and are following procedures relevant to the line, and that an acceptable level of productivity and efficiency is maintained at all times.


Within the greater scope of line management, the managers involved will often communicate with one another. This is true both in terms of a chain of command in which managers dialogue with their overseers and also with key employees who are assigned specific tasks as part of the line production. At the same time, lateral communications between line managers are often part of the company’s operating culture, allowing the managers of different lines or departments to communicate on issues that affect each of their areas of responsibility, sometimes working together to adjust production quotas in light of a change in the number of orders to be filled, or making changes to operational hours in order to accommodate downtime with one or more pieces of machinery on the plant floor.

While the concept of line management is typically associated with manufacturing environments, the same general principles can also be included in the organization structure of an office setting. In this environment, key personnel are assigned to manage employees engaged in specific clerical or administrative tasks that allow the business to complete tasks that are important to the overall business operation. For example, one line manager may work with customer support personnel as part of an customer retention initiative, coordinating contacts with those clients and collecting feedback that is passed on to the sales and marketing teams. At other times, a line manager may be charged with the task of dealing with risk management issues associated with the operation of a store. In any of its incarnations, line management seeks to make sure company resources are being used to best advantage, and to aid in the problem-solving process by working with others to allow the business to remain functional even in the event of some type of unforeseen circumstances that could threaten company productivity.


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