How have management styles been used to study the work of a manager?

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Management styles are the third theoretical concept that researchers and practitioners have tried to depict the work of a manager. On the one hand, the idea coincides with the intuition we use when we think of our own boss – either he has an autocratic or participative style. But again – what does it give us when we want to design a robot manager to manage a specific project?

It doesn’t give us anything.

Knowing about a single person, what style of management he uses, gives us absolutely no knowledge of what activities he performs and in what order. So how would we imitate him, which is the simplest model of a robotic manager? Let alone a more complex form of algorithm that would be interactive with team members and responsive to business situations that arise.

Steering styles can be useful for designing a robot manager, but only in an auxiliary way, to know more or less how a human manager would behave in a given situation. I conducted research on leadership styles using TransistorsHead’s online managerial tools ( I described the results in one of my research papers, but I will cite them here on the blog in a future post. Below are some examples of research on leadership styles in different business situations.

Table 1. The examples of published results on management styles over last 50 years


Morse, J.J., & Wagner, F.R., (1978). Measuring the process of managerial effectiveness. Academy  of  Management  Journal, 21(1), 23-35.

Shipper, F., & Davy, J., (2002). A model and investigation of managerial skills, employees’ attitudes, and managerial performance. The Leadership Quarterly, 13, 95-120.

Kaiser, R.B., Craig, S.B, Overfield, D.V., & Yarborough, P., (2011). Differences in managerial jobs at the bottom, middle, and top: a review of empirical research. The Psychologist-Manager Journal, 14(2), 76-91.

Renko, M., Tarabishy, A.E., Carsrud, A.L., & Brännback, M., (2015). Understanding and measuring entrepreneurial leadership style. Journal of Small Business Management, 53(1), 54-74.

Giauque, D., (2015). Attitudes toward organizational change among public middle managers. Public Personnel Management, 44(1), 70-98.