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Industrie 4.0

The country needs new managers

The success of the digital transformation in companies depends on a modern management style in the boardroom. But many managers in Germany do not seem to have taken that on board yet.

31 Aug. 2018
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The country needs new managers (Chart: Kienbaum Institut @ ISM GmbH)

These are the findings of a joint study by the online careers platform StepStone and the management consultants Kienbaum, for which a total of 13,500 technical staff and managers were surveyed in Germany. It emerged that many German managers are clinging to established patterns of behavior that are not suited to the digital transformation. According to the study, 94% of those surveyed want visionary, motivating managers who set an example and adopt a transformational management style. 88% prefer a strategic approach with concrete targets and constructive feedback, and 84% value an ethical management style which also encourages employees.

The reality looks rather different: only 29% of the respondents said their managers have a strategic management style, 21% a transformational style and only 9% an ethical style. A little over half of the participants even stated that they had a boss who issues directives, gives strict instructions and expects blind obedience.

According to the study, this is an outdated approach: the success of the digital transformation in all areas of business, the researchers claim, requires effective, employee-focused management that is designed to meet the new requirements. In the course of the study, the managers were also asked to assess their own style – and rated themselves considerably more positively than their employees did.