9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN19 Sociology of Professions

2009-09-05 15:30:00 2009-09-05 17:00:00 Saturday, 5 September 15:30 - 17:00 Changing Professional Skills and Competence Building I, Auditório 1

Young Managers and Their Professional Dispositions

In this paper I will present part of my doctoral thesis preliminary empirical results concerning the managerial dispositions of young managers of Lisbon (Portugal).
In my thesis I consider Weber?s notion of the ?new type of individual?. Through its analogy I intend to observe a new type of manager in the Portuguese society: The professionalized manager. This social profile, represented by the new generation of managers, is established by opposition to two profiles characteristic of the management context in Portugal until the mid 1980s: the owners-directors, with no diploma; and the salary-directors graduates of economics and engineering. This new generation of managers is the object of our sociological study.
I will then present the results of the analysis of my questionnaire in order to discuss their different dispositions (incorporated ways of thinking, feeling and acting, etc.): 1. Normative dispositions to sacrifice, hedonism, confidence, and loyalty; 2. Dispositions to a given working situation, from ownership to salary; 3. Professional dispositions related to disciplinary and technical knowledge as well as deontology 4. Bureaucratic dispositions related to the hierarchy and the organisation?s culture, including performance evaluations; 5. Dispositions of power, authority and persuasion.
The analysis of these dispositions is based on 5 corresponding prepositions: 1. Fundamental to the manager?s studies is the sociological distinction between a socialising agency (management normative literature) and the socialised manager (managerial practices); 2. Taking into consideration that the discipline and profession of management is a result of the division between ownership and direction, it is inevitable to check the new configurations of this phenomenon; 3 and 4. It is furthermore crucial to contribute to the ongoing debate on the sociology of professions concerning the professional and the bureaucratic professions. 5. In addressing the legitimate types of management powers, accounts must be taken of ?persuasion? as opposed to the ?managerially obsolete? authority.
This paper will conclude with a reflection on the use of the concept of managerial dispositions, particularly its virtues and limits.