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
(1) It combines a specialist/professional element and a general, 'managerial'
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
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
is about and with
the communication is made.
(7) Little time is spent on any one particular activity and, in particular,
on the conscious, systematic formulation of
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
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
is done and
of managerial work is setting the boundaries of and negotiating that
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',