The Challenges of First-time Management: A Study with Young Managers

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Renata Celeste Guberfain do Amaral
Lucia Barbosa de Oliveira


The transition into a first management position is often marked by great challenges, which can be even greater when the new manager is young and has little personal and professional experience. Thus, the purpose of this exploratory study was to investigate the challenges faced in this transition and the ways found to overcome them. The job demands-resources model (JD-R model; Demerouti, Bakker, Nachreiner, & Schaufeli, 2001) served as a conceptual base for the research, conducted among 15 new managers who assumed their positions by 29 years-old. The results showed that most of the challenges are related to managing subordinates. As for the ways or resources used to face such challenges, participants highlighted on-the-job experience, previous life experience albeit limited by their age, and relationships with current and former managers, friends, peers or the team itself. Very few new managers had formal support from their organization during the transition. Finally, from the participants’ experiences it was possible to identify five ideal types, based on the relationship between the complexity of the situation and the difficulties felt by the new manager, taking into account the mobilization of different resources.


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How to Cite
Amaral, R. C. G. do, & Oliveira, L. B. de. (1). The Challenges of First-time Management: A Study with Young Managers. Journal of Contemporary Administration, 21(3), 373-392.