Manager Effectiveness – The Research Preliminary Overview

Dwight Mihalicz,

Managers are in a really tough spot. They need to deliver more and more, but organizational systems get in the way more often than they help. The art and science of management is a topic that has received profuse attention over the years. Essays, scholarly articles and full length books have been devoted to the subject, discussing everything from strategies for improving performance to specific managerial styles. But manager effectiveness is not well understood.

What does the research have to say and what factors influence the effectiveness of a manager? Very little!

Managers report they are operating at just over 60% effectiveness.
They are attending meetings they shouldn’t attend, reading emails they shouldn’t have to read, fighting jurisdictional battles they shouldn’t have to fight, and duplicating work also assigned elsewhere, and so on.

Effective ManagersTM has partnered with the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa to fill this void in the management sciences literature, and to help CEOs understand how they can improve productivity in their organizations. The research is focused on measuring the effectiveness of managers in organizations and understanding the key drivers that impact effectiveness – the amount of a manager’s time that is spent doing work that is adding unique value to their organization. Interestingly, there is no published research quantifying manager effectiveness.

Want To Learn More?

Contact Dwight today for a complimentary conversation on your organization and how your managers can improve their overall effectiveness.

In the spring of 2013 five organizations (private sector, not for profit and government) participated in the test phase of the Effective ManagersTM research project. The main phase of the research was launched in July 2013, with a target of 1,000 manager participants. The results will be published after the main phase is complete. This paper provides an overview of the preliminary findings from the test data.

The bottom line is that through research we have an understanding of the effectiveness of managers. Test data says that on average managers feel they are operating at just over 60% effectiveness. That is an ineffectiveness ratio of almost 2 days a week! Managers identified that they spend just over 20% of their time doing work that is not part of their job. In addition, they spend nearly 20% of their time doing work that could (we would say should) be delegated to an administrative support position.

More importantly, we have identified key measures that correlate with manager ineffectiveness. There are seven measures that correlate directly with manager effectiveness, and an eighth variable that is an indicator. If a CEO can understand the relationships between these measures and effectiveness in their organizations, action can be taken that will improve effectiveness. These eight measures are:

  • Clarity of Accountability. Are managers clear about what has been delegated to them, and what they are accountable for?
  • Felt Accountability. To what extent do managers carry accountability? This links to clarity of accountability: do they feel accountable for the right things?
  • Work Flow. Do managers perceive that work flows smoothly across the organization?
  • Role Conflict. To what extent do managers experience conflict in their work situations? Role conflict is highly negatively correlated to Manager Effectiveness.
  • Interdependence. To what extent do managers depend on others in the organization for success in their work? Organizations with higher Interdependence scores are more likely to experience Role Conflict.
  • Organizational Learning. How well does your organization manage its knowledge assets? To the extent that your organization is better at managing and transferring knowledge, managers can be more effective.
  • Corporate Support Systems. Organizations have in place organization-wide systems that are intended to support employees in their work. How well are they doing in terms of helping managers to be more effective?
  • Manager’s Manager Capability. Manager effectiveness, in large part, has to do with how effective managers are at managing their direct report managers. How well do your managers feel they are being managed?

A 94-question confidential survey has been developed to gather data directly from managers, who can log on to a secure web site to provide their direct input on these measures. In the test data, the correlations between these measures and the reported effectiveness of managers is astounding. They range from highly significant Pearson coefficient r-values of .26 to an incredible .67.

What does this mean to CEOs? Why should they devote precious managers’ time to completing a survey? Here are six reasons:

  1. Build an action plan for improvement ground in science-based findings. The results are not some ivory-tower idea that may or not pay off. The findings are based in science, and show the findings for your organization, for each measure, with comparisons to benchmark. With this knowledge it is possible to build an action plan for change that will pay real dividends. An increase in manager effectiveness of 10% has the same impact has hiring an extra 1 manager for every 10 in the organization. This can have a significant bottom-line impact.
  2. Quantify Manager Effectiveness in your organization. Anyone who has ever worked in an organization knows from sad experience that managers are distracted from doing their “real work”. They are attending meetings they shouldn’t attend, reading emails they shouldn’t have to read, fighting jurisdictional battles they shouldn’t have to fight, duplicating work also assigned elsewhere, and so on. By quantifying this in your organization, you can get a sense of the opportunities you have to unleash mangers’ potential to help advance strategy. The test data indicates that on average this is the equivalent of 2 days per week per manager!
  3. Benchmarking. This is an opportunity to see how manager effectiveness in your organization compares to other organizations. Where sample sizes are large enough, sector by sector comparisons will be provided. This can help you to focus in on areas of greatest opportunity.
  4. Understand the key factors in your organization supporting manager effectiveness. Organizations do better in some measures than others. Understanding your strengths in manager effective can provide you with a means to build on them. Some of an organizations highest-payoff initiatives can come from leveraging its strengths.
  5. Understand the constraints in your organization that are impeding manager effectiveness. Where are you not doing as well as on organization? If you can understand the constraints to effectiveness, and how they relate, you can develop change strategies that can remove obstacles to effectiveness.
  6. Complimentary, Confidential Report. You will receive an approximately 25 page report which details the findings in your organization, together with benchmark results. Each measure is described in detail to ensure an understanding of what the results mean. The report concludes with the high level findings, customized for your organization, together with the areas of greatest strengths and greatest opportunities.
Sign up to-day! Participation is offered on a complimentary basis only until
the research participation objectives have been achieved.

Email: survey@effectivemanagers.com
Call: Dwight Mihalicz, President, Effective ManagersTM at +1 647 283 1096

More information on the survey approach and the researchers can be found at:
/research/

Dwight Mihalicz

Dwight Mihalicz has over 40 years’ experience helping local, national, and international organizations achieve greater productivity, efficiency, and performance.
Copyright © 2019 - Dwight Mihalicz -Sage Effective Managers