So I understand that you are able to view records of the people that are 'under' you in the role hierarchy. That's quite useful, so we have laid out a tree and properly assigned the users.

Now the next step is some approval processes, for which I ticked the box that says 'use manager for approval'. However, when submitting for approval it complains that the Manager field on the User object is empty. And it is.

Yet, I would expect that when I have a role hierarchy (with only one user appointed to every position) it could figure out the manager automatically, right?

Is there a way to couple the role hierarchy and the Manager field, so that the manager in the role hierarchy is also the Manager on the User object?

(I understand that there can be multiple people on the same role, or maybe horizontal managers instead of vertical, complicating things, but still...)

  • 4
    You identify in your final statement why the Role hierarchy is not tied to the Manager field on User. I'm not sure what you mean by "but still..." I would add that a manager for approval processes might be two levela above in the hierarchy. In short, there is no reasonable way to predict the relationship of User.Manager to the Role Hierarchy, and so Salesforce doesn't get in Admins' way by making an attempt that would fail, as often as not. Feb 12, 2014 at 15:09
  • Yes, I just realized those things at the end of writing the question. But I guess you're right. If you can make it into an answer, I'll gladly accept that. Feb 12, 2014 at 16:04

2 Answers 2


As already identified in Thomas Taylors comment it would not be possible to automatically populate manager on a user using the role hierarchy for the following reasons:

  1. Manager field on User object only holds one Lookup to another user so if the next level above in the hierarchy has multiple User accounts assigned which one should be selected.
    1. The actual manager could be at a different level of the role hierarchy rather than just the level immediately above.

So it is not any advantage for Salesforce to auto populate when it would often require the Admin to change the field value than for them to have to populate it manually. Delegated admin would also mean that update of this can probably be pushed into the business for larger orgs as well.

  • could this not be solved with proper data upkeep?
    – tuskiomi
    Dec 13, 2016 at 17:10

go to Set up-->personal setup --> personal information --> Click on edit --->Naviagate to Approver settings section on that edit page and then ther is a look for " manager" update that field u may then see the manager ,i think it might sloves ur problem

  • I know that field. The question is why it is not automatically synced with the role hierarchy. Feb 12, 2014 at 16:09

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