More than 30 years ago, Henry Mintzberg reported on upper level management in large US corporations. His resulting work, &#8220;The Nature of Managerial Work&#8221;, - ceived much attention. Expanding on earlier research, Mintzberg&#8217;s 1973 study was able to show that the work situation at the topmost levels of leadership is charact- ized by extreme stress; critical factors include the accountability to others such as the board and shareholders, time pressure, and permanent work overload, the latter ra- ing particularly critical questions regarding the quality of decision making &#8211; a sign- icant risk for the long-term survival of organizations. In today&#8217;s economic crisis &#8211; which is at the same time a crisis of the management profession as a whole &#8211; the research focus and results of Henry Mintzberg&#8217;s study are more relevant than ever. Rigorous studies in the field, however, are still rare. In the present research study, &#8220;The Nature of Executive Work&#8221;, Emilio Matthaei builds on and reaches far beyond the earlier works of the so-called Work Activity School of management research (e. g. Sune Carlson, Leonard Sayles, Rosemary Stewart, Henry Mintzberg, Ralf Reichwald and John Kotter). His exploratory journey from intensively studying twelve senior executives of large global corporations int- duces a fresh perspective on executive work. Emilio Matthaei&#8217;s data cover the work of twelve executives of the uppermost level of large organizations, each for one month using calendar transcripts and interview records.
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