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Manager Redefined: The Competitive Advantage in the Middle of Your Organization

ISBN: 978-0-470-88496-6
256 pages
October 2010, Jossey-Bass
Manager Redefined: The Competitive Advantage in the Middle of Your Organization (0470884967) cover image


In this book the author explains that managers must build human capital and engender employee engagement by managing them almost not at all, by attending instead to the factors and circumstances that make them successful. In other words, managers must play their role from offstage and out of the limelight. Based on a survey of over 16,000 employees, the author presents Towers-Watson' management performance model: Executing tasks, Building relationships and performance capability, and Energizing change. Additionally, managers must create an atmosphere of authenticity and trust.
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Table of Contents


Part I: Context.

1 Do Managers Matter?

A Brief History of Management.

Defi ning Management and Leadership.

The Defi nition, and the Power, of Engagement.


2 Why Managers Have a Tough Job.

Employees Are Smart and Demanding.

We Have Ambivalent Feelings about Leadership and Followership.

We Really Don't Like Being Told What to Do.

Managers Behave Badly.


3 A New Model of Manager Performance.

Managers and Competitive Advantage.

The Manager Performance Model.


4 Constructing the Manager Role.

Manager Contribution—The Player-Coach Job.

Manager Competency—The Technical Skill Dilemma.

The Size of the Job—Span of Control.

Building the Role System.


Part II: Implementation.

5 Executing Tasks.

Planning Work.

Clarifying Job Roles.

Monitoring Progress.


6 Developing People.

Acting as a Human Capital Treasurer.

Providing Direct Development.

Goal Setting and Performance Feedback.


7 Delivering the Deal.

Transforming the Extrinsic into the Intrinsic.

Individualizing Rewards.

Boosting Engagement Through Recognition.


8 Energizing Change.

Coping with Imposed Change.

Choosing to Change.

Sustaining Engagement.


9 Authenticity and Trust.

Connecting Authenticity and Trust.

Building Trust Through Authenticity.

Implications for Manager Performance.


10 Fitting the Pieces Together.

Manager Role Structure and Performance Model—A Summary.

What Makes a Great Manager?

Can a Good Manager Manage Anything?

Make Versus Buy.

Notes for Those Who Want Managers to Succeed.


The Authors.


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Author Information

Thomas O. Davenport is a senior practitioner in the San Francisco office of Towers Watson, a worldwide human resource consulting firm. He provides advice on human capital strategy, employee and organization research, and leadership development to clients in a wide variety of industries.

Stephen D. Harding is a senior practitioner in the London office of Towers Watson. He has consulted in employee research and organizational behavior for the last twenty years and has responsibility for managing employee research projects throughout Europe and elsewhere internationally.

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One of the CIPD’s core messages to policy-makers over the past 15 years has been the importance of improving leadership and management capability to boost UK productivity. This message lies at the heart of Manager Redefined: The Competitive Advantage in the Middle of Your Organization…The book reinforces the case for investing in improving management capability, drawing on Towers Watson’s database of staff survey responses. It also presents a range of case studies providing examples of how a focus on making changes to management behaviour delivers bottom-line results. From this evidence the authors have developed their Manager Performance Model, which they break down into four core elements: executing tasks, developing people, delivering the deal and energising change… Davenport and Harding highlight the importance of effective partnership between executive teams and HR in breathing life into the Manager Performance Model and set out a list of areas practitioners need to consider if they want their managers to drive competitive advantage. The book should also make compelling reading for policy-makers interested in meeting the UK ’s people management skills deficit to drive economic growth.
People Management, publication of Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), Europe's largest HR development professional body

In Manager Redefined, Tom Davenport and Stephen Harding…view supervisors and managers as centres of insight and influence, underappreciated in many organizations, but endowed nevertheless with the potential to make dramatic contributions to enterprise success….The authors challenge readers to consider the power embedded in their managers’ accumulated knowledge and experience…The authors provide a sound and practical performance model that reflects both current workplace reality and enduring human traits.
—From HR Leader (Australia)

In Manager Redefined, Davenport and Harding assert that managers not only matter to a company’s success, but also represent a potentially critical element in the performance equation. Drawing on extensive use of case studies, survey data and consulting experience, Manager Redefined identifies a performance model that depicts how managers contribute most directly and significantly to sustainable competitive advantage.
— drakepulse.com, the on-line site of the Drake Business Review

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