4 Dimensions of Relational Work
(Butler and Waldroop)

Knowledge Center


Influence, Interpersonal Facilitation, Relational Creativity and Team Leadership. Explanation of Dimensions of Relational Work of Butler and Waldroop. ('04)


  1. Summary
  2. Forum
  3. Best Practices
  4. Expert Tips
  5. Resources
  6. Print

The 4 Dimensions of Relational Work of Timothy Butler and James Waldroop is presented in the HBR of June 2004. According to Butler and Waldroop, interpersonal common sense is critical in almost any area of business.

Basically, Managers can boost productivity by:

  • By hiring the right employees.
  • By making the best work (project) assignments.
  • By rewarding performance in the right way.
  • By promoting career development.

No wonder most managers think they know which of their people are good at dealing with interpersonal relations and which aren't. Although this may seem obvious, Waldroop and Butler say one should distinguish between 4 types of relational interests and skills:

The 4 Dimensions of Relational Work are:

  1. Influence: Professionals who enjoy developing and extending their sphere of interpersonal influence. They take pleasure in persuasion, negotiation and the power of holding valuable information and ideas. Typical for Sales Managers, Marketing Managers, Negotiators and Mergers and Acquisitions dealmakers.
  2. Interpersonal Facilitation: People that are keenly attuned to the interpersonal aspects of work situations. They intuitively focus on experiences of other people and they operate usually quietly behind the scenes. In this way they keep their colleagues committed and engaged so that projects run smoothly. Typical for Human Resources managers. Compare also: Facilitation Styles
  3. Relational Creativity: People who are good at making connections with groups of people through visual and verbal imagery. Typical for advertising people and brand managers.
  4. Team Leadership: These are people that want to see other people, and interact with them. They like managing and working in high-energy teams in hectic service environments. Typical for Program Managers and Managers of Direct Service Delivery Units.

These four Dimensions of Relational Work are not discrete types; a person can have great interest and skill in two or more areas or in none of them. Also scoring high in one dimension may be detrimental to other areas and to certain types of work.

All 4 types of relational work contribute to the bottom line (financial capital and intellectual capital) and should be rewarded. Certain types of people will be sensitive to specific types of (non-)financial rewards. Senior Managers working on corporate strategy and financial performance are advised to remain sufficiently attentive to relational work: a business strategy is only as good as the people and teams who carry it out...

Book: Timothy Butler Ph.D., James Waldroop Ph.D. - Discovering Your Career in Business  -

Book: Patrick M. Lencioni - The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable -

Dimensions of Relational Work Forum

Dimensions of Relational Work Special Interest Group

Special Interest Group

Dimensions of Relational Work Education & Events

Find Trainings, Seminars and Events

Best Practices - Dimensions of Relational Work Premium

Expert Tips - Dimensions of Relational Work Premium

Personal Networks of Successful Change AgentsSign up

Organizational change is often difficult to achiev...
Usage (application): Leading Major and Minor Change Initiatives

How to Assess Relational Skills?Sign up

Influence skills:
- Look for a histor...
Usage (application): Human Resources, Leadership

Establishing a Relational Work EnviromentSign up

According to Lisa Merlo there are 5 things busines...
Usage (application): Best Practices

Relational Skills when Creating Balanced TeamsSign up

Managers should try to make sure that their teams ...
Usage (application): Human Resources, Leadership

How to Develop Better Relational Skills?Sign up

Although it is not necessary to be interested in o...
Usage (application): Human Resources, Leadership

Resources - Dimensions of Relational Work Premium

How to Develop Effective Workplace Relationships?Sign up

This presentation discusses the development of eff...
Usage (application): Relationship Management, Employee Relationship,

Employee Relations / Labor RelationsSign up

This presentation provides you with information ab...
Usage (application): Relationship Management, Employee Relationship

Peer and Co-worker RelationshipsSign up

This presentation is about the relationship betwee...
Usage (application): Relationship Management, Emotional Intelligence, Coaching, Emotional Work, Relationship at Work, Employee Relationships

News about Interpersonal RelationshipsSign up


News about Business RelationshipsSign up


Videos about Interpersonal RelationshipsSign up


Videos about Business RelationshipsSign up


Presentations about Interpersonal RelationshipsSign up


Presentations about Business RelationshipsSign up


Books about Interpersonal RelationshipsSign up


Books about Business RelationshipsSign up


More about Interpersonal RelationshipsSign up


More about Business RelationshipsSign up


Compare with the 4 Dimensions of Relational Work:  ERG Theory  |  Coaching  |  Mentoring  |  Emotional Intelligence  |  Leadership Pipeline  |  Path-Goal Theory  |  Six Change Approaches  |  Seven Habits  |  Seven Surprises  |  PAEI  |  Johari Window  |  Facilitation Styles

Return to Management Hub: Change & Organization  |  Communication & Skills  |  Human Resources  |  Leadership  |  Program & Project Management

More Management Methods, Models and Theory

Special Interest Group Leader

You here

About 12manage | Advertising | Link to us / Cite us | Privacy | Terms of Service
© 2018 12manage - The Executive Fast Track. V14.1 - Last updated: 17-3-2018. All names ™ of their owners.