Handbook of Research on Managing Managers

Handbook of Research on Managing Managers

Research Handbooks in Business and Management series

Edited by Adrian Wilkinson, Keith Townsend and Gabriele Suder

This book explores the changing role of managers in the workplace. In recent years, there has been considerable debate on the future of management, with both pessimistic and optimistic views being put forward. However, in the wake of delayering, downsizing, re-engineering and the pursuit of leanness, the more gloomy perspective has gained currency, especially in the popular managerial literature, and some have pronounced the end of management altogether. Some paint a more optimistic picture of managers and managers’ work with roles being transformed rather than replaced and the new organisational context providing more demanding work but greater autonomy and increased skill development. With contributions from experts in the field, this book is concerned with the way organisations manage their managers and how this continues to evolve with reference to global issues.

Chapter 5: The role of leadership in developing the innovative manager

Elizabeth J. Sander and Arran Caza

Subjects: business and management, human resource management, organisational behaviour


Innovative managers, those who foster creativity in their teams, are increasingly important as organisations are required to do more with less (Hamel, 2012) as work grows increasingly complex, unpredictable and knowledge-based (Joo et al., 2013). To prosper in this dynamic environment, organisations must adapt and innovate (Agars et al., 2008), and they depend on the creativity of their employees to do so (George, 2007). This need for creativity makes the innovative manager indispensable for many organisations, and therefore a key leadership priority. In this chapter, we review existing findings on the qualities and development of innovative managers. We begin with an examination of innovation and how it is affected by differing contexts and organizational conditions. Next, we summarise research on the sources of creativity among employees in order to understand what innovative managers need to provide. Creativity is influenced by a broad range of factors, but our focus here is on those factors suitable for management intervention. We then discuss the three distinctive capacities that distinguish the innovative manager. Finally, we outline the available findings on how leaders can develop and support innovative managers. Table 5.1 summarises the key elements of the chapter and of managing for innovation.

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