Why do managers do what they do

345 forms of language and social norms which set

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345 forms of language and social norms which set managerial identity apart from other forms of social identity. For example, common stereotypes relating to managerial preoccupations and forms of conduct (e.g. manager as 'trouble-shooter') both reflect and prompt managerial practices. The domestic system furnishes family and consump- tion resources, vocabularies of 'work' and 'leisure' and norms of 'domestic' versus 'work' commit- ments which shape managerial work responsibil- ities. For example, managerial incomes coupled with particular patterns of domestic life both support and are maintained by typical managerial work patterns. The political system supplies forms of state power, concepts of social order and a legal code which shape managers' political respon- sibilities. For example, all managers implicitly draw upon legal notions of property rights in assuming responsibility for the allocation of resources which, in turn, reinforces the legitimacy of such rights. Finally, the intellectual system includes the cultural capital and expertise, profes- sional practices and professional codes which shape managerial occupational responsibilities. For example, models of management furnish the cognitive categories through which managers can represent their actions, the accomplishment of which then serves to affirm these models. The economic system, however, furnishes man- agers with two sets of resources and rules, reflect- ing the dual nature of managerial responsibihty. Managers are both manager and managed, on the one hand responsible for the work of others and, on the other, being held accountable for that work. As 'managers', they may draw on resources flowing from their control over a sub-unit of capital, semantic rules of market logic and norms relating to property rights, whilst as 'managed', they must draw on resources flowing from their skilled labour power, semantic rules of employ- ment and norms of contractual obligation. Thus, for example, managers draw upon the material resources (e.g. budgets) to which their position gives them access, but also upon cognitive resources, in the form of technical skills (e.g. variance analy- sis) in the deployment of these resources. In so doing, managers reaffirm their own ambiguous position and the resources and rules which attach to capital and labour. Within capitalist economic institutions there are specific organizational systems, comprising a management process and a labour process, both of which are complex, and configured along technical and social dimensions which furnish resources and rules which constrain and enable managerial practices. Thus, the technical organ- ization of the management process incorporates technological and informational resources avail- able to managers (e.g. information systems); semantic rules, in the form of 'management technologies', about how management can be conducted (e.g. what counts as 'managehient information'); and moral rules, in the form of management imperatives about how manage- ment should be conducted; (e.g. acceptable fbrms of managerial communication). The social organ-
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