How to gain knowledge of what a manager really does? Part 3

Posted by

In order to build an artificial manager, we need to have explicit and implicit knowledge of what such a manager really does in his work with the team. Theoretically we know what we need, but practically it is very difficult to acquire such knowledge. This is hampered by traditional research methods in management science. Most research boils down to surveying managers to answer closed questions about what they have done in the past or how they work with their team.

It’s hard to find less reliable knowledge in any field, right?

And yet such a method of building knowledge in management science is very common. Below I cite a dozen examples of such studies that have looked at managerial skills and roles. The examples of published results of such studies during last 50 years:

  • The nature of the skills involved in managerial jobs; Managers  in  32  manufacturing  firms  in  the Madison-Milwaukee  industrial  area (McLennan, 1967).
  • Measuring the process of  managerial effectiveness  in relations with  specific  behaviour  and  activities characteristic of managerial work;       Managers from 6  companies in the US (Morse and Wagner, 1978).
  • Importance of Mintzberg’s roles across several different functional areas, including a relatively ignored segment of the managerial population—namely, the general manager; Managers and executives representing a wide variety of private sector service and manufacturing  firms in southern California (Pavett and Lau, 1982).
  • Investigation on  the  managerial  roles  of  the chief  information officer  (CIO)  based  on  Mintzberg’s  classic  managerial  role  model; Companies randomly  selected from  the  1991 listing of Fortune 1000 companies (Grover,  Jeong, Kettinger and Lee, 1993).
  • Relationships  between  creativity  style,  as  measured  by  the Kirton Adaption Innovation Inventory (KAI) and the self and other ratings on a 360-degree feedback instrument, the Management Skills Profile (MSP); Managers who were mid-career  MBA  students  attending  a  part-time evening  programme  in  a  medium-sized  south-eastern state university in the United States (Buttner, Gryskiewicz and Hidore, 1999).
  • Employees’ attitudes and performance as measures of managerial effectiveness.Middle managers in numerous US facilities of a large, high-technology, non-traditional firms (Shipper and Davy,  2002).
  • Perception of the role of the manager which contributed to changes in everyday managerial practices. CEO of the companies employed between slightly fewer than 2,000 persons to almost 15,000 persons and the combined market value of the three listed companies exceeded US$12 billion at the time of study (Tengblad, 2006).
  • Female and male managers communication skills; Managers of an organization located in the San Francisco, Bay Area (Kaifi and Noori, 2011).
  • Global management skill sets and capabilities among  multinational  corporations; Senior executives from multinational organizations in North America and India (Ananthram and Nankervis, 2013).
  • Status of managerial skills, features of organisational climate and the interaction of managerial skills with organisational climate; Managers in educational service sector (Vandana and Dhull, 2014).
  • Importance for each managerial role in using  managerial skills; MBA students (Ullah, Burhan and Shabbir, 2014).
  • Importance of values and skills of managers; Senior lean experts employed by a single Dutch medium-sized management (van Dun, Hicks and Wilderom, 2015).
  • Management  skills  of  retail  companies; Team leaders in retail companies (Mihalcea and Mihalcea, 2015).
  • Actions of great leaders, the definition of an effective leader, factors need to be considered to identify the right leaders who can successfully transition into higher-level roles; Team leaders in 300 organizations, 20  industries  and  18 countries (Sinar and Paese, 2016).

And how do you do your research to gain real knowledge about a manager’s work? I’ll show you in my next post.

McLennan, K. (1967). The manager and  his job skill. Academy of Management Journal, 10(3), 235-245.

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

Pavett, C. M., & Lau, A. W. (1982). Managerial  roles,  skills,  and effective  performance. Academy of Management Proceedings, 95-99.

Grover, V.,  Jeong S-R., Kettinger, W.J., & Lee, C.C. (1993). The chief information officer: a study of managerial roles. Journal of Management Information System, 10(2), 107-130.

Buttner, E. H., Gryskiewicz, N., & Hidore, S. C. (1999). The Relationship between styles of creativity and managerial skills assessment. British Journal of Management, 10, 228-238.

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

Tengblad, S. (2006). Is there a ‘New Managerial Work’? A comparison with Henry Mintzberg’s Classic Study 30 years later. Journal of Management Studies, 43(7), 1437-1461.

Kaifi, B. A., & Noori, S. A. (2011). Organizational behavior: a study on managers, employees, and teams. Journal of Management Policy and Practice, 12(1), 88-97.

Ananthram, S., & Nankervis, A. (2013). Global managerial skill sets, management development, and  the role of HR: an exploratory qualitative study of north American and Indian managers. Contemporary Management Research, 9(3), 299-322.

Vandana, B. K., & Dhull, P. I. (2014). An exploration of managerial skills and organizational climate in the educational services. Journal of Services Research, 4(1),  141-160.

Ullah, F., Burhan, M., & Shabbir, N. (2014). Role of case studies in development of managerial skills: evidence from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Business Schools. Journal of Managerial Sciences, 8(2), 192-207.

van Dun, D. H., Hicks, J. N., & Wilderom, P. M. (2015). Values and behaviors of effective lean managers: Mixed-methods exploratory research. European Management Journal, 35(2), 174-186.

Mihalcea, A., & Mihalcea, D. (2015). Management skills assessment using 360° feedback – MSF 360.  Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 187, 318-323.

Sinar, E., & Paese, M. (2016). The new leader profile. Training Magazine, 46, 46-50.