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Managing with style: a qualitative study on how cognitive styles influence managerial behaviour

Author

Listed:
  • Cools, E.

    ()

  • Van den Broeck, H.

    () (Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School)

Abstract

Our study aims to contribute to an enhanced understanding of how cognitive styles, being individual preferences for perceiving and processing information, influence managerial behaviour using a qualitative approach. Based on content analysis of written testimonies of 100 managers, we found interesting differences between managers with a knowing, planning, and creating style with regard to both task-oriented behaviour (decision making) and people-oriented behaviour (conflict management, interpersonal relationships). Although the tasks of different managers are largely the same, our study demonstrates that not all managers execute their job in the same way. Our results complement previous quantitative research on the link between cognitive styles and managerial behaviour. Although there is a wide theoretical and empirical interest in cognitive styles, qualitative studies that might provide further support to the practical relevance of cognitive styles for organisations is currently lacking. Because of the pivotal role of strong management and executive leadership on employee attitudes and financial performance, it is important to better understand the manager’s characteristics. Our results may contribute to increased managerial self-awareness about the impact of their individual preferences on their management style.

Suggested Citation

  • Cools, E. & Van den Broeck, H., 2006. "Managing with style: a qualitative study on how cognitive styles influence managerial behaviour," Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School Working Paper Series 2006-43, Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School.
  • Handle: RePEc:vlg:vlgwps:2006-43
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    Keywords

    cognitive styles; managerial job; qualitative study;

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