R&D managers leading knowledge workers with care

Ola Edvin Vie

in The Work of Managers

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199639724
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738661 | DOI:
R&D managers leading knowledge workers with care

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This chapter highlights both the distinctiveness and the commonality of managerial work in a Research and Development (R&D) setting. Four Norwegian R&D managers are shadowed. In a comparison with the executives in Henry Mintzberg’s The Nature of Managerial Work (1973), this research shows that these four R&D managers have more fragmented work, more contact with subordinates, fewer office meetings, and more interactive contact patterns. Pragmatically, they also spend more time displaying care for personnel. Such care, expressed in the everyday work activities of listening and chatting, may exert an influence on others through the social processes of reciprocation, liking, and authority. The conclusion is that R&D managers, as well as other leaders, need to acknowledge their own and others’ emotions more strongly in the workplace.

Keywords: care; emotions; reciprocation; liking; authority; managerial work; R&D managers; shadowing

Chapter.  8350 words. 

Subjects: Organizational Theory and Behaviour

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