managererial styles

Sarah Boomer sarai at
Sat Jan 20 19:52:38 EST 1996

	I work in a very political department (and I know people will say
it's everywhere but most experienced incoming people agree this is a
little more than usual), where it is well known who is going to be a very
difficult personality/slave-driver and who isn't.  I, too, would like to
see more discussion of styles but I know, for me, that I can not imagine
some of the things I see or hear can be mistaken for a "managerial style"
- having worked in the public sector, I cannot even call a lot of it
professional, decent, or legal.  I believe, in many cases, that it is
wrong and ultimately hurtful for students tp put up with a lot of such
behaviour (frankly, the whole mentor/student relationship gone bad, I
worry, may result in the abusive parent/abused child... new abusive parent
scenario).  Unfortunately, I also know the usual consequences for trying
to report problems, having watched friends become seemingly blacklisted
and forced out for reporting very ugly problems (even when the graduate
faculty committees sided with the student).  So - yes - I'd like to see a
discussion of dealing with this way-too-kind-sounding term, "managerial
style," but I also want to get a feel for how much people really feel is
fair and how to better deal with advisor/student conflicts (what do to
with irreconcilable differences/personalities, etc.).  I know that I feel
there is very little professionalism in academics when it comes to whole
departments dealing/not dealing with the harsher-styled managers and
students who get lost in the process. 


> > When I advise 
> > first year graduate students on how to choose a major professor, I 
> > tell them that professors have many different styles of how they 
> > train students; each students needs to determine which style best 
> > meets their own needs.
> I would like to hear more discussion about this.  I will soon be looking
> for my first postdoc and have come to realize just how big a deal
> managerial style can be to a student.  Are there any books, etc. that
> list/describe (pigeonhole?) different styles and help you learn to
> recognize them quickly, determine which styles are most compatible with
> your personality, and advise how to best work with managers of different
> types?  
> Also, any other advice on how to find a good postdoctoral supervisor would
> be appreciated.
> Thanks!

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