The hybrid manager
1. What is a “Hybrid manager”
Around the late 80’s and early 90’s a change was occurring in businesses across the globe with the emergence of the desktop pc and the adoption of Information technology in the workplace as a standard. This created a void between business managers and those who were classed as technology managers. With the onset of recession businesses were forced to focus more on efficient use of resources and employee productivity. It was also identified at the time that many of these technology projects that were to vastly improve the business processes and increase the efficiency and productivity in the workplace was due to a disparate vision of technology managers who had no apparent experience, or often, interest in the business goals and strategies. A paper written in 2000 by Kakabase & Norac-Kakabase cites Verespej (1999) describing some technology managers as “a breed of managers who have lost the art of human interaction and who immerse themselves in technologies rather than focussing on the value that information can provide for clients”. For clarity I would assume clients to also represent the business in which such managers were based as well as external organisations. The paper goes on to state that “With the rapid rate of technological and organisational change, the production element of information systems is losing its importance” (Kakabadse & Norac-Kakabase, 2000). A paper by Anne Brackley in 1996 citing Colin Parker of the BCS in 1990 states that “The (hybrid manager) term was coined by Michael Earl, Director of OXIIM at Templeton College, Oxford”. David Skyrme (1989-1992) disputes the origin of the term but does confirm that Earl did offer the best definition of a Hybrid manager as “A person with strong technical skills and adequate business knowledge or vice versa .... hybrids are people with technical skills able to work in user areas doing a line job, but adept at developing and...
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