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Assessing the desktop manager

Donald L. Lester (Jennings A. Jones College of Business, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA)
John A. Parnell (School of Business, University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Pembroke, North Carolina, USA)
Shawn Carraher (Center for Emerging Technologies and Entrepreneurial Studies, School of Business, Cameron University, Lawton, Oklahoma, USA)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 23 March 2010



This paper aims to present the results of an empirical study identifying desktop managers who spend all of their time engaged with the computer and the effects this has on organizations.


A survey was administered to 30 organizations in a southwestern US state to determine the presence of desktop managers.


The paper finds that desktop managers in an organization negatively impacted job satisfaction, organizational commitment, organizational citizenship, and the zest and vitality of subordinates.

Research limitations/implications

Only employees from 30 organizations were surveyed, and all were located in a specific geographic area of the USA.

Practical implications

The negative impact of desktop managers on organizational members points to a disturbing trend, that knowledge workers are not having their interactive communication needs with managers met.


The original scale developed for the study shows promise in identifying the presence of desktop managers in organizations.



Lester, D.L., Parnell, J.A. and Carraher, S. (2010), "Assessing the desktop manager", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 246-264.



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