If the evidence presented in the previous section is

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Understanding Management
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Chapter 11 / Exercise 1
Understanding Management
Daft/Marcic
Expert Verified
If the evidence presented in the previous section is treated naively as a body of 'facts', the known features of managerial work may be summarized as follows: (1) It combines a specialist/professional element and a general, 'managerial' element. (2) The substantive elements involve, essentially, liaison, man- management and responsibility for a work process, beneath which are subsumed more detailed work elements. (3) The character of work elements varies by duration, time span, recur- rence, unexpectedness and source. (4) Much time is spent in day-to-day trouble shooting and ad hoc problems of organization and regulation. (5) Much managerial activity consists of asking or persuading others to do things, involving the manager in face-to-face verbal communication of limited duration. (6) Patterns of communication vary in terms of what the communication is about and with whom the communication is made. (7) Little time is spent on any one particular activity and, in particular, on the conscious, systematic formulation of plans. Planning and deci- sion making tend to take place in the course of other activity. (8) Managers spend a lot of time accounting for and explaining what they do, in informal relationships and in 'politicking*. (9) Managerial activities are riven by contradictions, cross-pressures and conflicts. Much managerial work involves coping with and reconciling social and technical conflict. (10) There is considerable choice in terms of what is done and how: part of managerial work is setting the boundaries of and negotiating that work itself. This list is unremarkable and represents the common core findings on managerial work which are sufficiently general as to be relatively uninteresting. Beyond these core findings lies diversity which has two distinct origins. Firstly, it reflects diversity in the phenomenon itself - the wide variation in jobs designated as 'managerial' (Stewart, 1967a; 1976). Clearly, the choice of particu- lar managerial jobs as the object of study crucially influences the nature ofthe findings. Secondly, however, the diversity of evidence undoubtedly reflects the research process. The findings cannot be viewed as a set of unproblematic 'facts',
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Understanding Management
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Chapter 11 / Exercise 1
Understanding Management
Daft/Marcic
Expert Verified
WHAT DO MANAGERS DO? A CRITICAL REVIEW 105 unscathed by the problems and purposes which determined their collection, the implicit models and methodologies which guided the research and the methods whereby the data were collected. I have already noted above how changes in focus, problems and approaches brought identifiable shifts in the character ofthe studies over a 30 year span. Before the adoption of multi-method studies, what was discovered about managerial work was critically influenced by how managers were studied: diary studies inevitably focused upon contacts and time allocation, structured questionnaires generated work elements, whilst participant observation studies made much of 'informal' behaviour, Anyone seeking to build a consistent body of knowledge from the different research studies by a process of contrast and comparison, finds the task

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