Re: "Common" sense?
You are just as guilty as the 'Peons' of not understanding the 'Real' full picture.
Organisations need 'Middle/Senior Managers' and 'Peons/Coders' BUT if everyone is doing their job properly ..... there is no need for the coders to have to worry about the 'Bigger picture' because that should not be their immediate concern & equally the 'Middle/Senior Managers should not have to be worrying about what the 'Peons/Coders' are doing as it is too low level and Technical for them to need to get involved in, IF they have the right people in place and the trust to allow them to do their jobs.
The problem is that there tends to be too much 'Office Politics'/'Empire building' that interferes with the 'Real work' that should be done and 'fingers in pies' that belong to people without the knowledge/skills to make effective management decisions.
The 'lack of knowledge/understanding' problem works both up and down the organisation structure !!!
Consider all the IT projects that fail for one reason or another, do you really believe that is *only* because of issues with the Techies/Coders/Peons at the bottom ???!!!
Finally, I can only go along with your 'Lord save me from peons who think they're managers.' statement IF the set also includes those who are *already* performing the role *badly* as well. !!!