Copy of knowledge article https://help.salesforce.com/apex/HTViewHelpDoc?id=users_managers_only.htm&language=en_US
Sharing Records with Manager Groups
|Available in: Professional, Enterprise, Performance, Unlimited, and Developer Editions|
The role hierarchy controls the level of visibility that users have into your organization’s data. With Spring ’15, you can use manager groups to share records with your management chain, instead of all managers in the same role based on the role hierarchy. Manager groups can be used wherever other groups are used, such as in a manual share or sharing rule. But they cannot be added to other groups and don’t include portal users. Manager groups can contain Standard and Chatter Only users only.
Every user has two manager groups—Managers Group (1) and Manager Subordinates Group (2)— where (1) includes a user’s direct and indirect managers, and (2) includes a user and the user’s direct and indirect reports. On a sharing rule setup page, these groups are available on the Share with drop-down list.
To find out who a user’s manager is, from Setup, click . Click a user’s name. The Manager field on the user detail page displays the user’s manager.
- From Setup, click .
- On the Sharing Settings page, click Edit.
- In Other Settings, select Manager Groups and then click Save.
With manager groups, you can share records to these groups via manual sharing, sharing rules, and Apex managed sharing. Apexsharing reasons is not supported. For Apex managed sharing, include the row cause ID, record ID, and the manager group ID. For more information, see the Force.com Apex Code Developer’s Guide.