How CEOs manage time by Michael E. Porter and Nitin Nohria (HBR)

A crucial missing link in understanding time allocation and effective use of time of CEOs has been systematic data on what they actually do. Porter and Nohria’s article offers a comprehensive and detailed account of 27 CEO’s time use.  They found:

  • The job of an CEO is all-consuming – they are always on, and there is always more to be done.
    • Work on average 9,7 hours per weekday and will conduct business on 79% of weekends and 70% on vacations. Sleeps on average 6,9 hours.
  • 61% of their time is spent on face-to-face interaction; 15% is spent on the phone or reading or replying to correspondence and 24% on electronic communication (they avoid emails).
  • On average 43% of their time is focussed on activities that further their agendas. A further 36% is spent in a reactive mode, dealing with unfolding issues, internally and externally and 11% is spent on routine responsibilities.
  • They rely heavily of their direct reports – 46% is spent with one or more direct reports, 21% only with direct reports and 32% with a broader group of senior leaders.
  • Limited time is spent on knowing what is going on by walking the hallways or factory floors.
  • They manage using broad integrating mechanisms through
    • Harnessing strategy (21%);
    • Aligning organizational structures and culture (16%);
    • Designing, monitoring and improving processes (25%);
    • Developing people and relationships to improve their company’s leaders (25%).
  • 72% of their time at work is spent in meetings.
  • On average 30% is spent juggling external constituencies – customers (average 3%), investors (average 3%), non-business related activities (2%), Board directors (5%).

Click here to access the full article.

Feel busy all the time? There’s an upside to that by Amitava Chattopadhyay, Monica Wadhwa and Jeehye Christine Kim (HBR)

Interesting article posted in the Harvard Business Review.  A short extract from the article,

“Busyness has previously been studied through the lens of time pressure. Researchers found that when people feel that they’re under significant time pressure, they tend to make decisions based on emotions. For instance, when consumers are placed in situations where they lack time to complete a task, they grow anxious and become more likely to give in to their impulses. They are more likely to choose the cake, so to speak.

However, that’s not the end of the story, as there’s a flip side to busyness. In recent years, being busy has become an unmistakable badge of honor in many Western societies. It’s quite common for people to humblebrag that they don’t have a minute to themselves. Feeling busy — that is, perceiving oneself to be a busy person — thus makes individuals feel that they’re prized, important members of society. …

Our research suggests that activating a busy mindset may be an easier and more effective nudge to facilitate self-control.”

Click here to access the full article. 

One of our best 2016 MBA theses on Authentic leadership

Investigating the mediating effect of perceived organizational support on the relationship between authentic leadership and work engagement

By: Theresa Vermeulen 2017

Supervisor: Caren Scheepers



Using positive psychology and the theory of organizational support and reciprocity, we examined whether perceived organizational support (POS) mediates the relationship between authentic leadership and engagement. Authentic leadership and engagement have been investigated extensively however not in relation to POS within the same study.

Given the context of the world of work today, there is a need to move beyond the direct association between leadership and engagement to study how other variables may strengthen or weaken this relationship. Data was collected from 202 employees, working in an international information technology organization and results were analyzed at the group level. Regression analysis was used to test for mediation, followed by statistical tests of the indirect effect as well as bootstrapping.

Differences between subgroups were also investigated and model fit analysis to establish whether the suggested model was a good fit. The results showed that POS partially mediates the relationship between authentic leadership and engagement. Further practical implications of the findings are discussed, together with limitations and ideas for future research.


  • Authentic leadership
  • Work engagement
  • POS
  • Perceived Organizational Support