Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Department Seminar Series NISHANI BOURMAULT - NEOMA - November 14th 2017

The Management Department
Department Seminar Series



Tuesday, November 14th 2017
   Room N231 at 10:00 am (5.00 p.m in Singapore)

Theme“When Stepping Up Also Means Stepping Down: Managerial Role Transitions for Members of High Reliability Occupations”

Abstract: "In past literature on work transitions into managerial roles, a key challenge for newcomers is assumed to be the increase in responsibility that the new job entails. However, little attention has been paid to individuals’ occupational backgrounds before transitioning. To better understand managerial transitions, this study compares the shifting responsibilities of supervisors coming from a high-reliability occupation, where small errors can lead to serious consequences, versus a low-reliability occupation, where such concerns do not exist. Drawing mainly on interviews with former Paris subway drivers (high-reliability) and station agents (low-reliability) now promoted to supervisors, we analyze the change in “responsibility” experienced during such a transition. We find that this responsibility has multiple facets, some of which actually lessen as one moves up. For subway drivers, stepping up into a managerial role entails lower task significance, lower temporal immediacy, and lower task independence; creating a certain loss of what we label “personal” responsibility. By contrast, former station agents reported no such loss. Building on the imprinting literature, we suggest that workers coming from high-reliability occupations might experience a similar “managerial blues.” Overall, our findings shed light on how specific occupational backgrounds shape the experience of responsibility when moving up the hierarchy."