Managers attempt to alter the content of their jobs

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Business Analytics: Data Analysis & Decision Making
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Chapter 14 / Exercise 2
Business Analytics: Data Analysis & Decision Making
Albright/Winston
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Managers attempt to alter the content of their jobs, in particular by making them less reactive and dependent upon the demands of others, more towards becoming the source of activities and demands, and thereby to 'move to a position in the structure in which the balance of initiatives favours them' (Sayles, 1964, p. 115). Moreover, managers attempt to bring certain desirable functions/activities under their control and to off-load more time-consuming ones (Dalton, 1959). Thus, negotiation over job content is not only part of what managers actually do, but is also a motif running through other activities. Silverman and Jones (1976) take this theme a stage further by suggesting that managers actively define their own work and create its constituent activities: communication is not simply what managers spend a great deal of time doing but the medium through which managerial work is constituted. They suggest, therefore, that the typical work of a junior manager is the 'organizational work' of drawing upon an evolving stock of knowledge about 'normal' procedures and routines in order to identify and negotiate the accomplishment of'problems' and 'tasks'. Thus, the work of managers is the management of their work - or as Gowler and Legge (1983) contend, the 'meaning of management' is the 'management of meaning'.
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Business Analytics: Data Analysis & Decision Making
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Chapter 14 / Exercise 2
Business Analytics: Data Analysis & Decision Making
Albright/Winston
Expert Verified
Pressure and conflict. There is considerable evidence,that whatever managers do, their activities do not form a neat, coherent, unproblematic set. Activities may be competing, even contradictory, and this itself produces the important managerial work of compromise and negotiation. Dalton (1959) describes how managers cope with the cross-pressures acting upon them and the ambiguity which pervades their relationship with the organization. Silverman and Jones (1976) identify the conversational strategies employed by middle managers in resolving the role conflict created by the policy stipulations of superordinates and the grievances of subordinates. Nichols and Beynon (1977) document the ideological tools employed by managers at 'ChemCo' to resolve contradictions between the management of the technical system and people. Fletcher's (1973) study points up the contradictions between being employed to rationalize organization and of planning oneself out of a job, the ideology of individual performance and the reality of cliques, of being a manager whilst also being a subordinate and of having to extract work from subordinates without always giving something in return. He concludes (1973, p. 136) that the circumstances of managerial work are 'schizoid' and that: Management is neither art nor science nor skill. At base there is nothing to do. A manager is hired for what he knows other firms do, what he can find to do, and what he can be told to do. For Pym (1975), the key contradiction is between 'work' and 'employment' and much managerial activity is spurious or non-work undertaken largely to absorb the time spent in employment.

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