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Auburn Technical Assistance Center (ATAC)

Managerial Work and the Importance of Managers

Over the last eight to ten months, I have been fascinated with the work of managers (so much so that I have chosen this topic for my dissertation, but that's another story, see below ). Good managers are essential to organizational success. In fact, every organization can benefit from good managers because, like superior technical employees, they bring qualities and characteristics to the organization that can help it obtain and sustain competitive advantage. In fact, there is a long history of research that supports the idea that highly effective managers are very influential in the success of the organization. 

I think most organizational leaders intuitively know this and want the best managers they can find. Unfortunately, identifying and selecting the best managers is not always an easy task. In my past work experience, I observed that high performing technical employees were often selected for managerial positions because of their ability to do the technical work. But good technical employees are not necessarily good managers. Managerial work is inherently different, particularly in  the area of relationship building, so strong technical performance is not always the best indicator of good managerial performance. So I began the process of searching out what characteristics make a good manager and how can we assess whether or not managerial candidates possess those characteristics. My research has produced a lot of interesting and important information related to managerial selection and performance. So over the next few weeks, I would like to share with you some of my findings by dedicating the next few blog postings to topics such as:

  • What is a manager and the nature of managerial work
  • Historical background of managerial research (what we know to date)
  • A model of managerial selection
  • Intelligence as a predictor of managerial performance
  • Personality as a predictor of managerial performance
  • Motivation as a predictor of managerial performance

So I hope you will join me over the next few weeks as we explore these topics. If you have specific questions as we go along, feel free to post them in the comments and I will do my best to respond. So until next time . . .

The Other Story

These next few blog topics will be coming from my dissertation work over the last . . . umm, well, very long time. I am at a point now where I need organizational involvement for data collection. If you find the topics I post about managerial work useful and would like to speak to me about my work or be involved in collecting data, please don't hesitate to contact me. I would love the opportunity to work with just about any organization in improving managerial quality. It really is my passion, and if I can get done with my PhD at the same time I won't complain! 

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