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Line Manager

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Definition: A line manager, sometimes called a direct manager, is a person who directly manages other employees and is responsible for the administrative management of the individual as well as the functional management. If someone refers to their "boss" they mean the individual who is their line manager.

Some managers, like project managers, are responsible for directing the work of other employees, but are not responsible for the administrative management of those individuals. They do not discipline the employee, promote/demote them, do salary adjustments, etc.

Some individuals have manager in their title, but don't actually manage anyone else. These individuals also are not line managers.

In a typical matrix management structure, the project manager gives work direction to the project team members regardless of what department or functional group they came from. The people who run those departments and groups, who manage all the individuals in them, are the line managers.

**See the full Glossary of Business Management Terms and Abbreviations

Also Known As: Direct Manager
Examples:
Davin has a problem with Bill not coming to project meetings on time. When he is unable to resolve the issue himself, he talks to Bill's line manager, Sandir, and asks him to talk to Bill or replace him.

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