It’s not uncommon to hear people assert that it’s a bad idea to promote an engineer to lead other engineers, or an editor to lead other editors. A good manager doesn’t need technical expertise, this argument goes, but rather, a mix of qualities like charisma, organizational skills, and emotional intelligence.
Andrew Oswald, Benjamin Artz and Amanda Goodall published some articles about how workers are affected by their boss’s technical competence.
They found that employees are far happier when they are led by people with deep expertise in the core activity of the business. These results support the claim that both competence – linked to expert knowledge – and industry experience improve workers’ job satisfaction.
Access to the articles (pdf)
- If Your Boss Could Do Your Job, You're More Likely to Be Happy at Work (2016)
- Boss Competence and Worker Well-being (2014)
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photo: 1925 Life