Middle managers are meant to serve as a go-between for leadership teams and individual contributors. But in large organizations, with many layers of hierarchy, some of these roles feel like bureaucratic bloat, which, in tighter economic times, makes them a target for elimination. Emily Field, a partner at McKinsey & Company, thinks in many cases that’s a mistake. She argues that most middle managers are critical to corporate performance and productivity, executive team insight, and employee well-being. The key is making sure their roles adapt to the times. Field is the coauthor, along with Bryan Hancock and Bill Schaninger, of the HBR article “Don’t Eliminate Your Middle Managers,” as well as the book Power to the Middle: Why Managers Hold the Keys to the Future of Work.