52: Management in Practice – Rosemary Stewart

With Special Guest Maja Korica from the Warwick Business School, UK!

Rosemary Stewart

So what do managers do in practice? How do they spend their time (or put another way, how does their time spend them)? Are there differences in the demands of managers in different positions, or withiin different organizations? These were the questions that famed management theorist Rosemary Stewart set out to uncover in her research back in the 1960s, resulting in the first edition of this episode’s subject–her book Managers and Their Jobs: A Study of the Similarities and Differences in the Ways Managers Spend Their Time.

The methodology is fascinating. Stewart asked 160 top managers in firms large and small to maintain diaries of their work over the course of four weeks. What were they doing and why? Poring over the data provided a rich accounting of their work and professional lives. This allowed her to develop a proposed taxonomy of managerial work that might not have become as renowned as other similar taxonomies but was based on strong empirical support. The five “job profiles” she developed were very convincing.

In this episode, we discuss the work and bring it into present-day focus. In what ways has managerial work changed or remained the same? Is it the nature of management that is changing or merely its character? And where should Rosemary Stewart’s work be placed in the context of management science? To discuss these and many more questions, we welcome Dr. Maja Korica of the Warwick Business School!

You can also down the audio files here: Part 1Part 2. Comparing and Contrasting Managerial Work Then and Now (forthcoming) Part 3. What Should Managers Be Doing? (forthcoming)


Read with us:

Stewart, R. (1988). Managers and their jobs: A study of the similarities and differences in the ways managers spend their time, 2nd ed. London: Macmillan.

To know more:

Korica, M., Nicolini, D., & Johnson, B. (2017). In search of ‘managerial work’: Past, present and future of an analytical category. International journal of management reviews, 19(2), 151-174.

Nicolini, D., Korica, M., & Ruddle, K. (2015). Staying in the Know. MIT Sloan Management Review, 56(4), 57.

Stewart, R. (2003). Woman in a man’s world. Leadership Quarterly, 14(2), 197-197.

Porter, M. E., & Nohria, N. I. T. I. N. (2018). How CEOs manage time. Harvard business review, 96(4), 41-51.

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