Not Seeing Eye to Eye on Frontline Work: Manager-Employee Disagreement and Its Effects on Employees

Source: John D. Marvel, Public Administration Review, Volume 77, Issue 6, November/December 2017
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
The author uses nationally representative data on matched pairs of public school principals and teachers to test whether principal–teacher disagreement about the severity of school problems is associated with teacher turnover. More specifically, the author tests a managerial efficacy hypothesis that proposes that employees will be less likely to leave their jobs when their managers perceive problems to be severe, holding employees’ perceptions of the same problems constant. The author also tests a managerial buffering hypothesis that proposes that employees’ perceptions of problem severity will be more weakly related to their turnover probability when managers perceive problems to be severe. Little evidence is found for either hypothesis, raising questions about public school principals’ ability to translate problem recognition into problem remediation. More generally, the findings suggest a reexamination of the generic claim that “management matters,” which implies that public managers have the power to do things that can help employees perform their jobs well.