So, British managers are no better than David Brent.
They were compared to The Office's bungling star by Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt while she warmed GMTV's sofa last week. She seems to think they are single-handedly responsible for the UK's productivity gap.
There's nothing like having a go at an easy target, and reducing an important issue to a banal soundbite.
The Government has to share culpability in our failure to develop a more productive workforce, and it begs the question: how much of this is to distract from the DTI's performance?
It might have been the daytime TV format, but Hewitt failed to discuss the weight of regulation that her department has introduced. She failed to discuss the many European directives our government has gold-plated (see pages one and three). She even failed to discuss the Government's failings on the implementation of successive learning and training schemes.
The DTI has placed great emphasis on fairness at work - which is important - but it has largely been to the exclusion of competitiveness.
Management obviously has an important role to play in fostering high-performance, but it needs help more than finger pointing.
On our back page, Guru - our very own figure of fun - takes the rise out of managers this week. But then he is a comedy character looking for a cheap laugh, not the head of the DTI.
The DTI's plan to fly in strategy guru Michael Porter from the US to provide some solutions is a good one - as long as it acts as a launching pad for a comprehensive examination of the problems.
Over the coming weeks Personnel Today will examine the productivity gap, throw light on the problems involved, and will consult the profession to come up with practical solutions.
We think this is a lot more useful - and grown up - than accusing managers of being like David Brent.
By Mike Broad is assistant editor of Personnel Today