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The myth of the technical manager

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3 Author(s)
Ali Haider ; Center for Advanced Studies in Engineering (CASE), 19 Ataturk Ave. G5/1, Islamabad, Pakistan ; Qurratulain Zahid ; Nasir Wasim

Who can best manage technical teams and organizations, the one who knows technology or the one who knows management, is of great interest to the authors. Even Lou Gerstner when pursued by the executive search committee of IBM, also believing in the myth, felt that as a non-technical person he was not qualified to lead IBM. Later, however, he did accept the position and turned IBM around. On the other hand, technically savvy managers such as Steve Jobs of Apple and Bill Gates of Microsoft have been extremely successful in steering their companies to success with their hands-on involvement in technology. In this paper the authors have presented their observations and research in this area. The authors compiled a list of all the technology companies out of Fortune Magazine's Global 500 list of the largest corporations in the world. From that list, they analyze the educational qualifications and work experience of their CEOs, present the results, and draw conclusions. The authors note that different beliefs exist in various parts of the world. They also share their personal management experience in presenting their point of view. The research presented here is limited to the area of technology. The observations may apply in other areas of business, but the authors have strictly kept the scope of their investigation to the engineering discipline with focus on research and development.

Published in:

Computer Science and Information Technology, 2009. ICCSIT 2009. 2nd IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

8-11 Aug. 2009