The concept of the primary health-care team involving an increasingly diverse range of health care professionals is widely recognized as central to the pursuit of a primary care-led health service in the UK. Although GPs are formally recognized as the team leaders, there is little by way of policy prescription as to how team roles and relationships should be developed, or evidence as to how their roles have in fact evolved. Thus the notion of the primary health-care team while commonly employed, is in reality lacking definition with the current contribution of practice managers to the operation of this team being poorly understood. Focusing on the career backgrounds of practice managers, their range of responsibilities, and their involvement in innovation in general practice, presents a preliminary account of a chief scientist office-funded project examining the role being played by practice managers in primary health-care innovation. More specifically, utilizing data gained from the ongoing study, contextualizes the role played by practice managers in the primary health-care team. By exploring the business environment surrounding the NHS general practice, the research seeks to understand the evolving world of the practice manager. Drawing on questionnaire data, reinforced by qualitative data from the current interview phase, describes the role played by practice managers in differing practice contexts. This facilitates a discussion of a set of ideal type general practice organizational and managerial structures. Discusses the relationships and skills required by practice managers in each of these organizational types with reference to data gathered to date in the research.