Psychological features of managerial activity
AbstractThe article shows that theory of managerial discretion was first presented to researchers of organizational structures and processes about 30 years ago by Hambrick and Finkelstein. It is analyzed that from the perspective of the theory there are three basic sources of managerial discretion: environmental, organizational and individual factors, each of which can promote or prevent strategic actions within organization. The fourth type of managerial discretion source, based on internal descriptions of various managerial tasks or activities, is described in our article. It is underlined that certain types of activity limit discretion more than others, as well as some environmental, organizational and personality features. It is mentioned that at activity level psychological thinking raises the question of how managers can avoid or minimize limitations/obstacles of their own professional activity, that consequently results in considering dynamics of managerial discretion. Dynamic models of organizational phenomena are important in general, however in specific case of managerial discretion they can provide clear understanding of how managers co-operate with environment, explain nature of managerial abilities as well as relations between limitations and choices. Managerial activity is analyzed as separate administrative function or task, that includes plan of actions, that can be designed or changed in future by various methods. Three key characteristics of managerial activity are considered, particularly to create possibilities or obstacles for managers, namely complexity, uncertainty and observability of an activity. These characteristics represent three conditional factors, common for both above-mentioned approaches, agency theory and transaction cost approach; they influence freedom of manager’s discretion in understanding of their influence on manager’s evaluation of practical feasibility to overcome an obstacle. It is summarized that these characteristics influence ability of powerful stakeholders to determine managerial activity and observe manager’s behavior.
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