Self-Management and Personal Agency

Thomas S. Bateman

in Management

ISBN: 9780199846740
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:
Self-Management and Personal Agency


Management generally implies managing organizational resources, projects, and people. It also can include managing oneself. Many have observed that effective leadership begins with oneself. Lao Tze said, “He who overcomes others has force; he who overcomes himself is strong.” Although urgent priorities often lead managers to attend primarily to projects and resources, secondarily to their people, and to themselves as afterthoughts if at all, self-management arguably is where most managers should begin their efforts to improve their effectiveness. “Self-management” is a bit colloquial, but it is a useful term that can include more specific academic theories and perspectives such as self-regulation, self-control, proactivity, and others. This bibliography is not about “self” theories, agency theory, or the neuroscience underlying impulsivity, executive function, and inhibitory control. Nor is it about self-managing teams. It focuses on theory and research with the most direct or potential relevance to the active management of oneself and one’s own job performance, with a perspective on individual behavior in which the person, more than the environment, is “in charge.” An additional goal here is to expand the focus beyond established self-management domains to include psychological constructs and managerial topics such as career management, goal orientations, future-oriented and long-term thinking, job crafting, mindfulness, and personal leadership development. Most work cited here has a focus on adults in the workplace, although some is based on laboratory experimentation with students, with potential implications for future research with working adults. Much of it represents psychological research and theorizing not yet capitalized upon fully by management scholars. Offered next are some general scholarly overviews, and then some introductory works, followed by major sections dedicated to self-regulation and related topics (goals, feedback and feedback seeking; action and goal pursuit; multiple goals and resource allocation; and goal orientations) and to personal agency and related topics (proactivity, personal resources, stress and coping, and others).

Article.  7555 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management

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