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Is there a ‘New Managerial Work’? A Comparison with Henry Mintzberg's Classic Study 30 Years Later*

Stefan Tengblad

Journal of Management Studies, 2006, vol. 43, issue 7, 1437-1461

Abstract: abstract This comparative study of top executives' work aimed at examining the stability of top managerial behaviour reveals a relatively different pattern of behaviour compared with the study by Henry Mintzberg. The main differences are a much larger workload, a contact pattern to a larger degree oriented towards subordinates in group‐settings, a greater emphasis on giving information, and less preoccupation with administrative work. One important finding is that fragmentation of time – in previous studies highlighted as a central tenet of managerial work – was not as prevalent in the new study. The different results can be attributed (with caution) to the impact of the management discourse about leadership and corporate culture, and to factors such as organizational structure and geographical dispersion of companies. However, there are also significant similarities between the two studies which indicate that claims of the emergence of a radically different managerial work are much exaggerated. Instead the empirical data shows that new work‐practices are combined with older practices, both in a complex and context‐specific ways. Therefore, there is a need for better integration between theoretical development and empirical investigations in this field of inquiry.

Date: 2006
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