The changing nature of managerial work: the effects of corporate restructuring on management jobs and careers

William M Foster, John S Hassard, Jonathan Morris, Julie Wolfram Cox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This article analyses contemporary issues relevant to understanding the changing nature of management and managerial work. The argument is developed in four parts. First, to provide context, we offer an overview of the literature on the organization and control of managerial work, tracing contributions mainly from the early 1950s onwards. Second, we discuss the first of two related concerns relevant to understanding the contemporary nature of managerial work – strategies of organizational restructuring: an analysis highlighting the role of downsizing and delayering within corporate campaigns promoting ‘post-bureaucratic’ systems. Third, we extend this discussion by addressing how such corporate restructuring affects managers in their everyday work – notably in relation to the perceptions and realities of growing job insecurity and career uncertainty: an analysis that frequently draws upon our own investigations to establish an agenda for future research. The article concludes by summarizing the content of four research articles whose arguments relate to issues discussed in this analysis of managerial work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-504
Number of pages32
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • corporate restructuring
  • delayering
  • downsizing
  • job insecurity
  • managerial careers
  • organizational forms

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