The Outsider Edge

The success of managers hired for temporary roles shows that sometimes loose ties and cultural distance can help a leader be effective.

The Research

  • The authors conducted exploratory interviews with managers hired as contractors and with the employee-managers who worked alongside them in client companies.
  • They then conducted two surveys, collecting data from 673 contractors in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
  • Approximately 95% of survey respondents had worked as a contractor-manager for more than one year, and 90% reported at least eight years of experience.

Scholars have been examining the role of relationships in managerial work for decades. Managers are not individual contributors, ...

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