Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

What do managers really do at work

25.10.2010
What managers feel they should be doing at work differs from what they really do. The dominating explanations as to why the managerial work looks the way it does are formed collectively and affect first- and second line managers’ view of the leadership. This is the conclusion reached in a new doctoral thesis authored by Rebecka Arman from the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg.

As part of her study, Arman shadowed ten line managers in the health care sector for four days each. After shadowing the subjects, who were selected from different types of health care settings in western Sweden, Arman interviewed them about their jobs. This method enables researchers to make observations that ordinary depth interviews do not allow.

’By following the managers in their daily work, I was able to see how they use their time and what they really do at work. What I saw didn’t always correspond with what they thought they had done. Some of the subjects averaged 111 activities per day, of which most were communication activities or meetings,’ says Arman.

Several studies have shown that the work managers do is often very fragmented. Arman’s study partly confirms this finding, although the extent of fragmentation is not as severe among middle managers. The study also addresses the consequences of this as well as the managers’ perceptions of the fragmentation of the work at the line level.

’The managers expressed that they would like more time for strategic work dealing with long-term issues. Instead they spent most of their days putting out fires and responding to decisions made by managers higher up in the organisation. Their workdays were filled with a large number of short activities and rapid changes between tasks, while there wasn’t much time to transition between activities and to simply reflect over things. The prioritisations are made collectively though. This means that in order to change the processes, the managers need support from the collective group. It is probably difficult for them to change things on their own,’ says Arman.

The study is the first of its kind in Sweden, and Arman feels that there is a need to complement the available leadership research with studies that use the method of shadowing. The purpose of this would be to achieve a more comprehensive understanding of what managers do at work and the challenges they face. Before researchers send out messages about what managers ought to be doing at work, we need more studies that show what they are already doing.

For more information, please contact: Rebecka Arman
Tel.: +46 (0)31 786 33 03
E-mail: rebecka.arman@handels.gu.se

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://gupea.ub.gu.se:8080/dspace/handle/2077/23226
http://www.gu.se

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Amputees can learn to control a robotic arm with their minds
28.11.2017 | University of Chicago Medical Center

nachricht The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A whole-body approach to understanding chemosensory cells

13.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

Water without windows: Capturing water vapor inside an electron microscope

13.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Cellular Self-Digestion Process Triggers Autoimmune Disease

13.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>