Amanda Goodall

I am a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) at Cass Business School in London.

I work particularly on the idea of 'expert leadership'.   We are accustomed to seeing organizations from Fortune 500 firms to hospitals choosing charismatic general managers for senior leadership positions over core-business experts (such as doctors in hospitals).   My research suggests that this may be wrong; organizations on average perform better when they are led by individuals with expert knowledge.

In random samples of 35,000 US and UK workers, we found that a boss's technical competence is the single strongest predictor of a worker's job satisfaction. Our latest research suggests that this happens because expert leaders understand how to create the right work environment, and how to appropriately assess, consult and support staff.

Being an expert in the core business of the organisation is not a proxy for having good leadership or management skills.   These are necessary.   But it is easier to train the best experts to be managers and leaders than it is to educate general managers in the expert knowledge (technical, tacit and cultural) that is built up over decades.

I am Co-Director of a new degree specifically designed for doctors: Executive Masters in Medical Leadership at Cass Business School launching in Fall 2017.

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