After seven seasons playing the wacky, yet lovable Michael Scott on NBC’s hit series, “The Office,” Steve Carell left the show this spring to focus on his film career. With his crazy antics and hilarious one-liners, Carell’s character enticed more than 7 million viewers to “The Office” every Thursday night. From off-the-wall impersonations to “that’s what she said” jokes, Michael Scott was a staple (no pun intended) of Dunder Mifflin, and his resignation will certainly lead to changes for the fictional company.
Like all managers, Michael’s personal values shaped the culture of the Scranton branch. One of his most fundamental beliefs was that his employees weren’t just staff – they were family, with perhaps the exception of Toby. Michael clarified during one episode that “Toby is in HR. Which, technically, means he works for corporate. So he’s really not a part of our family. Also he’s divorced. So he’s really not a part of his family.”
Because he placed great value on relationships, Michael created an office environment that revolved around social interaction, frequent unscheduled meetings, constant communication, and spontaneous special work teams. For example, Michael held impromptu meetings on hot workplace topics including diversity, sexual harassment, and fire safety. He also assembled the Party Planning Committee to organize office events, such as birthday parties and holiday celebrations.
Another one of Michael’s drivers was the need for recognition. He sought visibility and admiration and cared deeply about having his and others’ accomplishments publically acknowledged. Michael carefully selected job titles such as “Assistant to the Regional Manager” to properly acknowledge his employees for their work roles. Also, Michael hosted “The Dundies,” an annual award show that publically recognized the Scranton staff by bestowing prestigious awards such as Whitest Sneakers, Longest Engagement, and Busiest Beaver.
After his nearly 20 year tenure (9,986,000 minutes to be exact) at Dunder Mifflin, Michael hosted his last Dundies and a new manager will take his place as the leader of the Scranton branch. Although “The Office” season finale left viewers in the dark about who the next regional manager will be, one thing is certain – a new leader will create a new office culture.
Will it be Dwight Schrute with his traditional values of reporting hierarchies, respect for authority, rules, and formality? Or will it be Kelly Kapoor with her attention to appearance and style? Perhaps it will be an external applicant with a completely different set of values and beliefs.
Regardless of the new boss’s identity, the culture of Dunder Mifflin will surely change with Michael Scott’s departure. Despite his quirks, Michael’s unique personality and value set created a one-of-a-kind office that we won’t soon forget. At least, that’s what she said.