Line management is the universal term which refers to the style of administrative management of a business's employees. In a corporate setting, this type of management refers to a chain or line structure of management, with each link in the chain working towards a CEO, managing director or board of directors.
This management style encompasses the administration of employees, including responsibilities like performance reviews and disciplinary matters. It doesn't include directing an employee’s work or day-to-day tasks, although the same manager may fulfil both functions.
A line management system, therefore, refers to the structures and procedures a business puts in place to guide its line managers. This could include scheduled appraisals and reports, a structured programme of salary increments and formal disciplinary procedures.
Line management systems benefit managers by ensuring that they have access to tools and procedures to help them to fulfil their responsibilities. They also boost employee satisfaction and motivation by helping to create a sense of fair treatment and a level playing field for all staff.