Facts Against Fictions of Executive Behavior: A Critical Analysis of what Managers Do

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Quorum Books, Jan 1, 1993 - Business & Economics - 225 pages
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Executive behavior is simply what managers do. But what do they do? To answer this question, Kelly reviews the observational studies of managerial behavior made in the 1950s and 1960s by H. Mintzberg and S. Carlson, among others, and updates the record by including research of the 1980s and 1990s. This hard data of scientific observation is compared to and contrasted with the soft data of top manager interviews and CEO biographies, which includes material on Lee Iacocca, John Akers, Steven Jobs, John Sculley, and Jack Welch. To get these facts and fictions of executive life together in a meaningful and understandable way, this book develops a new view of executive behavior, which focuses on two paradigms: the classical and existential models of the manager.

In the classical approach, the manager plans, organizes, leads, and evaluates (POLEs). Both observational studies and the soft data of interviews and biographies shows the executive to be a much more intuitive person who engages in fleeting, superficial, and often distracting interactions with his or her peers and subordinates. Inevitably, such a life-style makes the manager into a gamesman---an existential player in a life in which chance and choice are vital elements in forming the corporate vision. To make this vision a reality, the existential executive employs a transformational style of leadership. This book focuses on four levels of management: chief executives, general managers, middle managers, and supervisors. Among the issues explored in depth are transformational leadership, selection of CEOs, the drama of executive meetings, and the executive of the future. Ideal as a supplemental reading for courses in organizational behavior and management, this book is also an important resource for consultants and executives who are involved in management development and selection who seek an in-depth, balanced view of the modern manager.

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About the author (1993)

JOE KELLY is a Professor of Management at Concordia University, Montreal. He is the author of a number of books on management and organizational behaviour and has had articles published in journals such as Harvard Business Review, Journal of General Management and Journal of Industrial Economics. He has considerable experience as an organizational behaviour consultant in the fields of restructing organizations, structured training and executive development.

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