Essentially what I'm asking is whether or not a report and a direct report are the same thing --- are the words synonyms?

Oxford Dictionary defines a report as someone who reports to a fellow employee, so in my estimation the answer is yes.

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    Well, there are indirect reports as well. Not every report would be your direct one. Searching direct vs. indirect reports brings up various business articles on that. Good morning and welcome to ELU. – KannE Mar 3 at 14:15
  • So, one has to decide to use either direct report or indirect report? – English Learner Mar 3 at 14:50
  • Not necessarily, I think, if the intended meaning--"an employee who reports to another employee" (ODO)--is well understood (i.e., report having proper context), but I would search online to see how common that is, particularly in business settings. – KannE Mar 3 at 16:19

Report is, as a noun, an account given of a particular matter, especially in the form of an official document, after thorough investigation or consideration by an appointed person or body, or the information contained in such document. As a verb it is the act of providing such document of information.

A direct report is a concept in business and administration, which is not a report, but a person. It is an employee who is managed by and reports to someone else immediately up the chain of command in the organizational structure.

  • Actually, the OP is referring to the 4th definition under the noun report--"An employee who reports to another employee" (ODO), so you may want to edit your answer. [en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/report ] – KannE Mar 3 at 15:45
  • @KannE That is what I am referring too.\ – user337391 Mar 3 at 19:00
  • To clarify, I meant...can one say, for example, 'I have a total of 44 reports, 4 direct reports and 40 indirect reports'? In other words, is it idiomatic to use reports alone (without any preface) as in my example? Your answer seems to indicate that one cannot. I'm not sure, one way or the other, but I think that usage should be searched for before it is ruled out entirely. – KannE Mar 4 at 2:06

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