The role of technical competence in managerial effectiveness: Mediators and moderators
Hysong, Sylvia Janette
Quinones, Miguel A.
Doctor of Philosophy
The literature on managerial effectiveness has concentrated on cataloguing the administrative and interpersonal skills necessary for good management, yet has paid little attention to technical skill as a necessary skill at the lower levels of management. To date there is no empirical evidence directly linking technical skill to managerial effectiveness. This study thus tested three hypotheses: (a) technical skill provides incremental value over administrative and interpersonal skill in managerial effectiveness; (b) technical skill is related to social power and influence tactics; and (c) group autonomy significantly moderates the relationship between technical skill and expert power. One hundred seven first-level supervisors from local petrochemical and engineering companies completed an on-line survey, where they answered questions about their professional background and managerial skills; their respective subordinates and supervisors provided information about their technical skill, managerial effectiveness, power, and influence tactics habits. The hypotheses were partially supported; technical skill provided incremental value, and was related to power and influence tactics only when measured judgmentally. Possible explanations and future directions are discussed.
Management; Industrial psychology; Business administration; Psychology