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It’s Sven 1 Fergie 0 in the management stakes


FootballThe calming Swedish influence of Sven-Goran Eriksson is winning over UK managers and staff. That's the message from over 250 HR professionals and 2,000 staff surveyed by the Reed at the CIPD's annual conference, taking place in Harrogate, this week.

Managers are turning to a 'consensual' style of leadership preferred by England football coach Eriksson as opposed to the more traditional methods used by Sir Alex Ferguson, manager of Manchester United.

According to Reed, the last 3 years have seen a swing of some 36% away from an 'autocratic' management style towards a 'consensual' style. 82% of respondents said their management style had significantly changed since the last economic boom in the late 1990s.

James Reed, Reed CEO said of the results, "While the late 90s boom allowed charismatic business stars to ride the crest of economic success, the more challenging environment of the last three years has called for a more considered approach. Our research shows there has been a sea-change in the workplace, from an autocratic leadership approach to a much more democratic one."

The survey results come as a boost to Eriksson as he prepares to address the CIPD Conference later today. The Swede, England manager since 2001, recently oversaw England's 0-0 draw with Turkey that ensured automatic qualification for next year's European Football Championships in Portugal.

Critics of the England coach's style of management point out that a more autocratic approach, as personified by Sir Alex Ferguson, may have cajouled a more impressive performance out of the England team against 10-man Brazil in the second-half of their World Cup quarter-final match last year.

Ferguson is famed for his robust approach to management and was recently involved in an infamous half-time clash with former Manchester United player David Beckham, when he allegedly kicked a football boot across the Old Trafford dressing room, striking Beckham in the temple. Eriksson has also recently faced criticism over his handling of the England squad's threat to take strike action over the Rio Ferdinand doping affair. It's seems that in football management, as in all people management situations, all styles of leadership will have detractors.


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