Successful vs. Effective Real Managers

Luthans, Fred
May 1988
Academy of Management Executive (08963789);May1988, Vol. 2 Issue 2, p127
Academic Journal
Rather than searching for technological, governmental, or economic solutions to the performance problems facing today's organizations, maybe it is time to take a closer look at managers' day-to-day activities. Instead of taking a normative view of what managers should do or examining a small group of elite managers, this article draws from the results recently reported in a book on an observational study that used a large sample of what are called "real managers" - managers from all levels of large and small mainstream organizations. After first covering what real managers do (the four activities of traditional management, communication, human resource management, and networking), Luthans examines the important, but heretofore ignored, distinction between successful and effective real managers. Successful real managers are on a relatively fast promotion track (an index of level over tenure). Effective real managers have satisfied and committed subordinates who perceive quality and quantity performance in their unit (a combined index using standardized questionnaire measures of satisfaction, commitment, and performance). A comparative analysis of the activities of the successful versus the effective real managers reveals little similarity between the two. Successful managers give relatively more attention to networking (socializing, politicking, and interacting with outsiders) than their unsuccessful counterparts and give relatively little attention to human resource management activities (motivating/reinforcing, managing conflict, staffing, and training/development). In stark contrast, however, effective managers give by far the most relative attention and effort to communicating (exchanging information and processing paperwork) and human resource management activities and the least to networking. Although Luthans' conclusions about successful vs. effective managers are bound by the definitions and method of study and analysis used, Their implications for...


Related Articles

  • PREPARING NEW ENTRANTS FOR SUBORDINATE REPORTING. Rogers, Priscilla S.; Mian Lian Ho; Thomas, Jane; Wong, Irene F. H.; Ooi Lan Cheng, Catherine // Journal of Business Communication;Oct2004, Vol. 41 Issue 4, p370 

    This study resulted in a conceptual framework to facilitate decisions about rhetorical and linguistic choices for subordinates reporting to superiors. Soon-to-be new hires graduating from business schools in Singapore and the midwestern United States responded to reporting scenarios. Their...

  • CLICK WITH MANAGERS.  // Quality Progress;May2008, Vol. 41 Issue 5, p72 

    The article provides information on several principles that need to be considered to achieve successful relationship with managers. It states that individual must be able to help translate process and operational improvements into financial result by checking the eradication of root that causes...

  • When employees are smarter than you.  // Communication Briefings;Dec2015, Vol. 34 Issue 12, p3 

    The article offers tips for managers on how to deal with employees who are smarter than them which include being proud of leading a group of smart people, learning from and providing feedback.

  • three facets for communicating managerial trustworthy behavior. Bell, Reginald L. // Supervision;Nov2012, Vol. 73 Issue 11, p16 

    The article outlines three essential qualities for managers to communicate trustworthiness to their employees, noting that trust is built through benevolence, vulnerability and dependency. Topics include the sharing of accurate information with employees, providing effect sufficient and timely...

  • Fair and balanced. Koury, Fred // Smart Business Indianapolis;Feb2010, Vol. 7 Issue 3, p4 

    The article reports on the impact of a company's culture to employees. It states that having a culture that is open and fair wherein information are shared and explained to the employees will to a positive response from the workforce. It notes that being open with information is a cultural...

  • CAREER CLINIC. Sanger, Alison // Community Care;5/10/2007, Issue 1672, p45 

    The article presents advice from readers on how a newly-appointed manager would deal with one member of staff who arrives late, leaves early and avoids team meeting. One stresses that good communication is the key to such a problem. Another reader suggests that the manager should come up with a...

  • 4 steps supervisors can take to help a suddenly unhappy staffer.  // HR Weekly;8/31/2015, Vol. 3 Issue 35, p3 

    The article offers four steps U.S. supervisors could take to help an unhappy employee which include thinking about the circumstances, meeting the employee privately if the unhappiness is work-related, and conducting a productive conversation with the employee.

  • Relationship of Managerial Work Roles to Tactics Used to Influence Subordinates. Lamude, Kevin G.; Scudder, Joseph // Journal of Business Communication;Apr95, Vol. 32 Issue 2, p163 

    The Hart and Quinn (1993) typology for assessing variations in managerial roles was used to explore managers' self-reported successful use of influence tactics with subordinates. Data were obtained from 116 managers using questionnaires completed anonymously. The investigation found that the...

  • Socialization at the Top--How CEOs and Subordinates Evolve Interpersonal Contracts. Gabarro, John // Organizational Dynamics;Winter79, Vol. 7 Issue 3, p2 

    This article focuses on how one-to-one managerial relationships actually evolve and what behaviors lead to effective subordinate-superior relationships. Any manager, regardless of position, depends on subordinates for the performance of the work unit. The higher a manager rises in an...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics