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Why do managers do what they do

Gives them access but also upon cognitive resources

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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- ization of the management process incorporates physical, economic, knowledge and normative power resources (e.g. managers' access to budgets, expertise and ideologies);' semantic rules in the form of conceptions of what different elements of the management process mean and entail (e.g. what are feasible forms of decision-making or reward systems); and moral rules, in the forhi of the tacit and formal duties and responsibilities of those located in the management process. Variations in this configuration give rise to variations in the resources and rules to which different managers have access, depending upon their functional or hierarchical location, and, therefore, require and enable the different kinds of managerial practices which are well-documented. Commonalities in managerial practices rhust, therefore, be linked to those resources and rules which inhere in management processes as a whole: power resources available exclusively but generally to managers; semantic rules about what 'managing' means and entails; and moral rules about the duties and prerogatives of 'manage- ment' per se. Thus, regardless of seniority or func- tion, all managers may draw on the knowledge power resources embodied in management in- formation systems (e.g. representations of eco- nomic performance which can be used to lever changes in work practices)^ cognitive rules about how information is categorized, processed and utilized in decisions (e.g. discounted cash flow as a criterion for capital expenditure) and normative rules about what forms of information are admis- sible in decision-making (e.g. privileging statist- ical information over subjective impressions);. The technical organization of the labour process incorporates physical, informational and spatial resources; semantic rules in the forrn of
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346 C. Hales work technologies; and moral rules in the form of work imperatives. The social organization of the labour process incorporates the physical, eco- nomic, knowledge and normative power resources available to non-managers; a set of semantic rules
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