Managers’ Teaching and Leading in the Workplace: An Exploratory Field Study

  • Robert E. Saggers
  • Alenoush Saroyan
Part of the Innovation and Change in Professional Education book series (ICPE, volume 7)


The “development of others” appears consistently as an element in leadership competency frameworks, and managers are now being asked to think of themselves as teachers in addition to their myriad other roles. Little empirical evidence currently supports the claim that managers who teach are better leaders than those who do not, but this study supports this hypothesis. A single-group pre–post test design was used. Data were collected online from the managers and their employees, before and several months after their managers took a specially designed leadership development workshop that embedded managerial teaching as an instructional strategy. Employee perceptions of the flexibility and effectiveness of their manager’s leadership style, the time they spent on teaching/coaching, and their relative productivity were measured, and so was employees’ satisfaction with their managers. In the final survey, employees were asked whether their manager had taught them the leadership model presented in the one-day workshop. Twenty managers from 8 different organizations participated, together with 43 of their employees. Our results indicate that both employees’ satisfaction with their managers and their perceptions of their manager’s relative productivity were positively correlated with the time managers devoted to teaching. Moreover those managers, whose employees said they had been “taught” the lessons of the leadership workshop by their managers were seen by their employees to be more effective.


Managerial Teaching Transformational Leadership Leadership Style Time Teaching Employee Satisfaction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Åkerlind, G. (2003). Growing and developing as a university teacher – variations in meaning. Studies in Higher Education, 28(4), 375–390.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Åkerlind, G.S. (2004). A new dimension to understanding university teaching. Teaching in Higher Education, 9, 363–376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Amundsen, C., Winer, L., & Gandell, T. (2004). Designing teaching for student learning. In A. Saroyan & C. Amundsen (Eds.), Rethinking teaching in higher education: From a course design workshop to a faculty development framework (pp. 71–94). Stirling, VA: Stylus.Google Scholar
  4. Anderson, J. R. (1982). Acquisition of cognitive skill. Psychological Review, 89, 396–406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Annis, L. F. (1981). The processes and effects of peer tutoring. Human Learning, 2, 39–47.Google Scholar
  6. Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  7. Barker, R. A. (1997). How can we train leaders if we do not know what leadership is? Human Relations, 50(4), 343–362.Google Scholar
  8. Bass, B. M. (1985). Leadership and performance beyond expectations. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  9. Bass, B. M. (1990). Bass and Stogdill’s handbook of leadership (3rd ed.). New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  10. Bass, B. M. (1997). Does the transactional-transformational leadership paradigm transcend organizational and national boundaries? American Psychologist, 52(3), 130–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bass, B. M., & Avolio, B. J. (Eds.). (1994). Increasing organizational effectiveness through transformational leadership. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  12. Bass, B. M., & Avolio, B. J. (2000). MLQ – Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire: Technical report, leader form, rater form and scoring key for MLQ Form 5x-Short. Redwood City, CA: Mind Garden.Google Scholar
  13. Bennis, W. (1999). Managing people is like herding cats. Provo, UT: Executive Excellence Publishing.Google Scholar
  14. Bennis, W., & Nanus, B. (1985). Leaders: The strategies for taking charge. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  15. Bennis, W. G., & O’Toole, J. (2005). How business schools lost their way. Harvard Business Review (May), 96–104.Google Scholar
  16. Betof, E. (2009). Leaders as teachers: Unlock the teaching potential of your company’s best and brightest. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.Google Scholar
  17. Blake, R. R., & Mouton, J. S. (1964). The managerial grid. Houston: Gulf Publishing.Google Scholar
  18. Blanchard, K. (Ed.). (2006). 2006 Corporate issues survey. San Diego: Ken Blanchard Companies.Google Scholar
  19. Blanchard, K. (Ed.). (2007). Leading at a higher level: Blanchard on leadership and creating high performing organizations. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  20. Blanchard, K., Hambleton, R., Zigarmi, D., & Forsyth, D. (2005). LBAII: Leader behavior analysis II questionnaire. Escondido, CA: The Ken Blanchard Companies.Google Scholar
  21. Blanchard, K., Zigarmi, P., & Zigarmi, D. (1985). Leadership and the one-minute manager. New York: William Morrow.Google Scholar
  22. Bloom, B. S. (Ed.). (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives: The classification of educational goals. Handbook 1, cognitive domain. New York: McKay.Google Scholar
  23. Bransford, J. D., & Schwartz, D. L. (2001). Rethinking transfer: A simple proposal with multiple implications. In A. Iran-Nejad & P. D. Pearson (Eds.), Review of research in education (pp. 61–100). Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.Google Scholar
  24. Brown, A. L. (1992). Design experiments: Theoretical and methodological challenges in creating complex interventions in classroom settings. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 2(2), 141–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Brookfield, S. B. (1987). Developing critical thinkers. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  26. Buckingham, M., & Coffman, C. (1999). First break all the rules: What the world’s greatest managers do differently. New York: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
  27. Burns, J. M. (1978). Leadership. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  28. Cha, S., & Edmondson, A. C. (2006). When values backfire: Leadership, attribution, and disenchantment in a values-driven organization. The Leadership Quarterly, 17, 57–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Charan, R., Drotter, S., & Noel, J. (2001). The leadership pipeline. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  30. Cohn, J. M., Khurana, R., & Reeves, L. (2005). Growing talent as if your business depended on it. Harvard Business Review, 83(10), 63–70.Google Scholar
  31. Collins, A., Brown, J. S., & Newman, S. E. (1989). Cognitive apprenticeship: Teaching the craft of reading, writing and mathematics. In L. B. Resnick (Ed.), Knowing, learning, and instruction: Essays in honor of Robert Glaser (pp. 453–494). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  32. Conger, J., & Benjamin, B. (1999). Building leaders: How successful companies develop the next generation. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  33. Covey, S. R. (2004). The 8th habit: From effectiveness to greatness. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  34. Cranton, P. (2000). Planning instruction for adult learners (2nd ed.). Toronto: Walls & Emerson.Google Scholar
  35. Daloz-Parks, S. (2005). Leadership can be taught. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  36. Daniels, A. C., & Daniels, J. E. (2007). Measures of a leader. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  37. de Moura, C., & de Oliveira, J. B. A. (1996). Convergence between education and training. In C. Tuijnman (Ed.), International encylopedia of adult education and training (2nd ed., pp. 18–22). Paris: Pergamon.Google Scholar
  38. Doh, J. P. (2003). Can leadership be taught? Perspectives from management educators. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 2(1), 54–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Drucker, P. F. (1993). Post capitalist society. New York: HarperCollins.Google Scholar
  40. DuBois, P. (2005). Le sentiment d'appartenance du personnel. Montreal: Les Editions Quebecor.Google Scholar
  41. Engeström, Y. (1987). Learning by expanding: An activity-theoretical approach to developmental research. Helsinki: Orienta-Konsultit. [Electronic version]. Retrieved October 20, 2005 from
  42. Fitz-Enz, J. (1997). The 8 practices of exceptional companies: How great organizations make the most of their human assets. New York: AMACOM.Google Scholar
  43. Gagné, R. M., & Biggs, L. J. (1979). Principles of instructional design. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.Google Scholar
  44. Gall, M. D., Borg, W. R., & Gall, J. P. (1996). Educational research: An introduction (6th ed.). White Plains, NY: Longman.Google Scholar
  45. Gardner, H. (1995). Leading minds: An anatomy of leadership. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  46. Gardner, J. G. (1993). On leadership. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  47. Gebelein, S., Stevens, L. A., Skube, C. J., Lee, D. G., Davis, B. L., & Hellervik, L. W. (2001). Successful manager’s handbook (6th ed.). Minneapolis, MN: Personnel Decisions International.Google Scholar
  48. Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R., & Mc Kee, A. (2002). Primal leadership: Realizing the power of emotional intelligence. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  49. Gow, L., & Kember, D. (1993). Conceptions of teaching and their relationship to student learning. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 63, 20–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Gredler, M. E. (2001). Learning and instruction: Theory into practice. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  51. Hersey, P., & Blanchard, K. (1969). Life cycle theory of leadership. Training and Development Journal, 23, 26–34.Google Scholar
  52. Hersey, P., & Blanchard, K. (1982). Management of organizational behaviour: Utilizing human resources. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  53. Heymann, P., & Heifetz, R. (2004). The intellectual architecture of “leadership”. Retrieved July 1, 2005 from
  54. Hollander, E. P. (1978). Leadership dynamics: A practical guide to effective relationships. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  55. Hughes, R., Ginnett, R., & Curphy, G. (2006). Leadership: Enhancing the lessons of experience (5 ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.Google Scholar
  56. Kelley, R. (1992). The power of followership: How to create leaders people want to follow and followers who lead themselves. New York: Doubleday Currency.Google Scholar
  57. Kennedy, P. K. (1993). Preparing for the twenty-first century. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
  58. Kotter, J. (1990). A force for change: How leadership differs from management. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  59. Kouzes, J., & Posner, B. (1995). The leadership challenge (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  60. Kouzes, J., & Posner, B. (2001). Bringing the leadership lessons from the past into the future. In W. Bennis, G. Spreitzer, & T. Cummings (Eds.), The future of leadership: Today’s top leadership thinkers speak to tomorrow’s leaders (pp. 81–90). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  61. Kouzes, J., & Posner, B. (2006). A leader’s legacy. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  62. Krathwohl, D. R., Bloom, B. S., & Masis, B. B. (1964). Taxonomy of educational objectives: The classification of educational goals. Handbook 2: Affective domain. New York: McKay.Google Scholar
  63. Leinhardt, G. (1993). On teaching. In R. Glaser (Ed.), Advances in instructional psychology (pp. 1–54). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum & Associates.Google Scholar
  64. Leimbach, M. P. (1994). Business performance, employee satisfaction and leadership practices. Eden Prairie, MN: Wilson Learning.Google Scholar
  65. Lowyck, J. (1996). Learning in the workplace. In C. Tuijnman (Ed.), International encylopedia of adult education and training (2nd ed., pp. 414–418). Paris: Pergamon.Google Scholar
  66. Meister, J. C. (1998). Corporate universities: Lessons in building a world-class work force. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  67. Mezirow, J. (1977). Perspective transformation. Studies in Adult Education, 9, 100–110.Google Scholar
  68. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. (2007). Retrieved February 18, 2007, from
  69. Mintzberg, H. (1973). The nature of managerial work. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  70. Mintzberg, H. (2004). Managers, not MBAs. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.Google Scholar
  71. Northouse, P. (2006). Leadership theory and practice (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  72. Ozmon, H. A., & Craver, S. M. (1999). Philosophical foundations of education (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  73. Pratt, D., & Associates. (1997). Five perspectives on teaching in adult & higher education. Malabar, FL: Krieger.Google Scholar
  74. Ramsden, P. (1992). Learning to teach in higher education. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Rost, J. C. (1994). Leadership for the twenty-first century. Westport, CN: Praeger.Google Scholar
  76. Saggers, R. E. (2009). The efficacy of manager teaching to enhance leadership learning and effectiveness. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, McGill University, Montreal, QC.Google Scholar
  77. Samuelowicz, K., & Bain, J. D. (2001). Revisiting academics’ beliefs about teaching and learning. Higher Education, 41(3), 299–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Saroyan, A., Dagenais, J., & Zhou, Y. (2008). Doctoral students’ conceptions of learning and teaching: Formation for change. Instructional Science. [Electronic Version]. Retrieved November 27, 2008 from
  79. Schaffer, R. H. (1990). The breakthrough strategy. New York: Collins Business.Google Scholar
  80. Senge, P. (1990). The fifth discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization. New York: Currency Doubleday.Google Scholar
  81. Simpson, E. (1972). The classification of educational objectives in the psychomotor domain. Washington: Gryphon House.Google Scholar
  82. Sternberg, R. J. (2003). WICS: A model of leadership in organizations. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 2(4), 386-401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Stewart, T. A. (1997). Intellectual capital. New York: Currency Doubleday.Google Scholar
  84. Stogdill, R. M. (1974). Handbook of leadership: A survey of the leadership. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  85. Swafford, J. (2000) Teachers supporting teachers through peer coaching. In B. Moon, J. Butcher, & E. Bird (Eds.), Leading professional development in education (pp. 107–115). New York: Routledge Falmer.Google Scholar
  86. Tichy, N. M. (Ed.). (2004). The cycle of leadership: How great leaders teach their companies to lead (pp. 285–394). New York: HarperCollins.Google Scholar
  87. Tichy, N. M., & Cohen, E. (1998). The teaching organization. Training & Development Journal, 52(7), 27–33.Google Scholar
  88. Tichy, N. M., & Sherman, S. (2005). Control your own destiny or someone else will. New York: Harpers Collins.Google Scholar
  89. Ulrich, D., Zenger, J., & Smallwood, N. (1999). Results-based leadership. Boston: Harvard Business School.Google Scholar
  90. Vicere, A. A., & Fulmer, R. M. (1998). Leadership by design. Boston: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  91. Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society. Boston: Harvard University.Google Scholar
  92. Weiss, D. S., & Molinaro, V. (2005). The leadership gap: Building leadership capacity for competitive advantage. Mississauga, ON: Wiley.Google Scholar
  93. Whetten, D. A., & Cameron, K. S. (2005). Developing management skills (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: PrenticeHall.Google Scholar
  94. Wren, J. T. (2002). A quest for a grand theory of leadership. [Electronic Version]. Retrieved July 1, 2005, from
  95. Zenger, J. H., & Folkman, J. (2002). The extraordinary leader: Turning good managers into great leaders. New York: McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
  96. Zigarmi, D., Blanchard, K., O’Connor, & Edeburn, C. (2005). The leader within: Learning enough about yourself to lead others. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  97. Zigarmi, D., Edeburn, C., & Blanchard, K. (1997). Getting to know the LBAII: Research, validity and reliability of the self and other forms (4th ed.). Escondido, CA: Blanchard Training and Development Inc.Google Scholar
  98. Zigarmi, D., Zigarmi, P., Edeburn, C., & Blanchard, K. (2000). Situational leadership II: LAP – leader action profile. Escondido, CA: The Ken Blanchard Companies.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Continuing Studies and Faculty of Education, McGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, McGill UniversityMontrealCanada

Personalised recommendations