How must a middle manager behave to be effective? Despite the heightened importance of middle managers, this fundamental question in the field of leadership remains largely unanswered. An understanding of the key behaviours displayed by effective middle managers provides an opportunity for enhanced productivity and improved organisational performance. Rather than focus on observable behaviours, most leadership literature yields long survey lists of attributions and perceptions. We dismiss this reliance on attributions in leadership writings, and argue that the focus should, instead, be shifted toward the observable and trainable behaviours and behavioural patterns of highly effective middle managers. Observing the real-life behaviours of highly effective middle managers will further detail as well as go beyond the transformational and transactional leadership paradigm. Four mutually exclusive, behavioural classes we have developed for analysing such observations are: "Steering", "Supporting", "Self-defending" and "Sounding".
International Journal of Management Practice – Inderscience Publishers
Published: Jan 1, 2004
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