How to find out what a manager really does? Part 3

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You have learned from previous posts that, first, in order to replace some human work, it is possible to make a film of how that work is done and then try to replace a human in it, and second, that we cannot make a film depicting cognitive activities. Managerial activities are precisely cognitive activities.

Can we really not?

Let’s go back to the posts in which I described what the world of a robotic manager should look like. This world consists of things and events, which in management language means resources and processes. In the organizational size system, I called these elements primary organizational size and derived organizational size, respectively. Together they form a management activity. See this post again:

So let’s consider how to measure organizational sizes, that is, to find out what a manager really does?

From the point of view of practically carrying out the measurement of organizational size, taking into account the assumptions in its operationalization, it must be remembered that measurement is always carried out with the help of some measurement tool. In the same way, the measurement of organizational size must be carried out by some kind of measurement tool. I made the simplest assumption that the measurement tool must record information on only one primary organizational size (that is, a resource in the resource approach in management science). Why the primary organizational size, i.e. a resource and not a process?

Few people realize that it is much easier to record the “state of things,” i.e. the state of a resource, rather than the “movement,” i.e. the state of a process (if we can talk about the “state” of a process at all). Remember the post about filming and when we know a horse is running? Recall:

The premise is this: let’s build a measurement tool that will record the individual states of the resource, that is, the states of the primary organizational size. Then, based on these states, we will reconstruct the course of the process, that is, the derived organizational size. And in this way we will get a picture of the managerial actions taken by the human manager in the process – resource (derived size – primary size) system. So we will find out what the manager really does, and then it’s a step to reproduce these activities (pretend to be a robot manager…) and see how the people in his team will react.

What remains to be solved is when to examine what the manager is doing. Do you lock him in a certain place with his team to “plug in” his measuring tools and measure his behavior, i.e. the managerial actions taken? Such laboratory studies would perhaps be quite effective – we would gather a lot of information about the behavior of managers and team members, but could such knowledge be applied to the real world?

Therefore, we need to come up with another way to use the measurement tool, in a more real-world situation – when a manager works with his team and together they do something that has practical business significance. How to construct such a measurement tool and where to place it – I will write about this in my next blog post.