Thanks for the reply and clarification! The write up looks the same as before, I think
It's not clear to me why research management is typically less valuable than paths such as policy or research. I think this is because the model of impact described seems wrong:
In general, being a PA or a research manager seems valuable for many of the same reasons working in operations management does—these coordinating and supporting roles are crucial for enabling researchers and others to have the biggest positive impact possible
Head's of Research can have a significant sway on the entire research direction of an organization; that seems very different to "enabling" the research, it's actively determining what the research will look like. For example, I expect this to be true for someone like Jade Leung at GovAI. Jess Whittlestone seems to hold a similar view, which she explicitly distinguishes from the model of impact described above:
I used to think of good research management mostly in terms of helping individual researchers to be more effective. But there’s also a different kind of management: the kind that provides high-level strategy for a group and a structure within which people can collaborate towards shared goals - which seems even more neglected...I might be able to do a lot more good by helping build a team who can work effectively together in this way, than I could through my own research.