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Offers an empirical, ``total'' system approach that determines which characteristics of managers enable them to be effective in various management jobs. Presents a large-scale, intensive study (2,000 managers holding 41 different jobs in 12 organizations) that provides a context for identifying the special characteristics, as well as assessing and developing managerial talent. Develops a logical, integrated model of managerial competence that explains the relationship of these characteristics to each other, to the functions of the management job, and to the key aspects of the internal organizational environment. Also introduces a model of individual competence.