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Manager Roles

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Managers are responsible for ensuring that tasks are performed by people or employees in an organisation. There are three ways to understand managers. A classic way of analysing the task of management is by examining management from the point of the functions performed by managers. The second approach is to observe the roles of managers while the third is to analyse the skills required by managers. A manager is a person whose job it is to oversee one or more employees, divisions, or volunteers to ensure that they carry out certain duties or meet specific group goals. Managers can be formal or informal. They are most common within corporations, but are can be found in most any situation where there is a need for a leader to head up individual projects. Nailing down a manager’s specific job duties or performance requirements can be somewhat tricky since the job title involves so many different kinds of work. Every manager is at his or her core a leader, though, which is where most responsibilities originate.

Planning and group-based organization are key parts of the job; supervising, mentoring, and motivating lower-level workers is important, too. A manager is often called upon to act as the outward “face” of the people he or she supervises. It is often the case that leaders need to drum up support for their team’s work, often by building connections with outsiders. This sometimes comes in the form of fundraising but can also concern publicity or political support. In large companies management is usually divided into three tiers, namely, upper or senior level leadership, middle management, and lower-level supervision. The “lower” tier includes managers who operate at basic levels of commerce or function. Mid-level leaders typically oversee those in more junior positions, and also usually generate reports for senior leaders. People in the top tiers are usually the overarching bosses.

Most are also members of the corporate board of directors and as such are responsible for making key decisions on matters of funding, accountability, and profit distribution. When most people think of managers in the corporate sense, they are thinking about the middle tier. Middle-management can include supervisors that field large territories and solve problems within the lower-management tier. These people are essentially the bosses of the leaders in the lower tier. A leader at this level might make tactical decisions about how to best handle challenging situations that arise within departments, divisions, or even between individual employees. Leaders are also responsible for reporting to upper-management, though in some industries this function has largely been replaced by automation technology. In these cases, the job of the middle leader is to properly input data and reporting claims, but he or she may not actually have to meet with higher-ups very often. The upper tiers, while more prestigious, are often a lot smaller and tend to involve less hands-on work.

These executives are usually tasked with overseeing and guiding the business to success by making strategic long-term decisions based on analyzing data and extrapolating plans of action that address relevant issues while improving the bottom line. Management is a process of overseeing and coordinating resource effiently and effectively in the line with the goals of an organisation. In short management refer to the process of delegating task to the employees to be performend well in the organisation. The managers involved in various basic activities. These activities are usually grouped as management functions. We typically describe the key managerial functions as planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Planning is objectives to be achieved for a given period and what needs to be done to achieve the objectives. All management levels in an organisation need to be involved in planning. Managers need to develop objectives in line with the overall strategies of the organisation.

Determining is what tasks are to be done, who will implement and coordinate them , how the tasks are to be grouped , who reports to whom and where decision are to be made . The managers needs to logically and effectively organise the information , resources and workflow of the organisation so that he is able to react positively to changes in the business management. Leading is involves motivating subordinates, selecting the most effective communication channel, resolving conflicts, and directing as well as guiding the actions of others with the intention of achieving all objectives. The effective leader of today has to be visionary in foreseeing the future, sharing the vision and encouraging employees in realising the vision. Controlling is the measuring of performance in all pre determined objectives, determining reasons for deviation and taking appropriate actions where necessary . Controlling is an important function in the management process as it provides ways to ensure that the organisation moves towards achieving its objectives. The definitions for each of these have evolved over time, just as the nature of managing in general has evolved over time.

This evolution is best seen in the gradual transition from the traditional hierarchical relationship between managers and employees, to a climate characterized better as an upside-down pyramid, where top executives support middle managers and they, in turn, support the employees who innovate and fulfill the needs of customers and clients. Through all four managerial functions, the work of managers ranges across ten roles, from figurehead to negotiator. While actual managerial work can seem challenging, the skills you gain through principles of management consisting of the functions of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling will help you to meet these challenges. These ten roles can be separated into three general groupings interpersonal roles, informational roles, and decisional roles. Three of the manager’s roles come into play when the manager must engage in interpersonal relationships. The three roles of figurehead, leader, and liaison are each necessary under differing circumstances.

Adopting one or another of the three interpersonal roles is made easier by the formal authority the manager obtains from the organization. The figurehead role is enacted when activity of a ceremonial nature is required within the organization. A baseball manager attending a minor league all-star game, the head chef of a prominent restaurant greeting customers at the door, and the president of a bank congratulating a new group of trainees are all examples of the figurehead role. While the figurehead role is routine, with little serious communication and no important decision making, its importance should not be overlooked. At the interpersonal level, it provides members and non-members alike with a sense of what the organization is about and the type of people the organization recruits. The second interpersonal role, the leader role, involves the coordination and control of the work of the manager’s subordinates. The leader role may be exercised in a direct or an indirect manner.

Hiring, training, and motivating may all require direct contact with subordinates. However, establishing expectations regarding work quality, decision-making responsibility, or time commitments to the job are all outcomes of the leader role that are indirectly related to subordinates. Quite often, managers are required to obtain information or resources outside their authority. The liaison role is enacted when managers make contact with other individuals, who may or may not reside in the organization, in order to complete the work performed by their departments or work units. An auto assembly plant supervisor may telephone a tire supplier to determine the amount of inventory available for next week; a prosecuting attorney may meet with the presiding judge and defense attorney to discuss the use of motions and evidence in a libel trial; or a college professor may meet with professors in a separate department on campus to obtain information on a prospective doctoral student.

Ultimately, the liaison role enables a manager to develop a network for obtaining external information which can be useful for completing current and future work activities. onitor, disseminator, and spokesperson are the three informational roles that a manager may assume. These informational roles are created as a result of enacting the set of interpersonal roles already described. A network of interpersonal contacts with both subordinates and individuals outside the work unit serves to establish the manager as an informational nerve center of the unit, responsible for gathering, receiving, and transmitting information that concerns members of the work unit. A manager assumes the monitor role by continually scanning the environment for information or activities and events that may identify opportunities or threats to the functioning of the work unit. Much of the manager’s gathering of information is achieved through the network of contacts that has been established through the interpersonal roles.

Hearing small talk at a banquet about a competitor’s planned marketing program, learning through casual conversation at a ball game about the negative medical evaluation of an unsigned ball player, or daily reading of a business periodical are all examples of the kinds of information gathering involved in the monitor role. The information a manager gathers as a monitor must be evaluated and transmitted as appropriate to members of the organization. The transmittal of information by a manager activates the disseminator role. Privileged information may be disseminated to subordinates, peers, or superiors in the organization. The manager may inform the marketing vice-president about the specific marketing strategy a competitor is planning to implement.

A baseball manager may inform the team owner that an impending trade should be canceled because of the unfavorable medical report on one of the players. Or reading The Wall Street Journal may inform the manager that a shipping strike is looming and thus enable her to inform subordinates that temporary layoffs may occur next month.
Occasionally, a manager must assume the spokesperson role by speaking on behalf of the work unit to people inside or outside the organization. This might involve lobbying for critical resources or appealing to individuals who have influence on activities that affect the work unit. A top manager asking the board of directors to keep the work unit together during a reorganization period or a corporate president speaking to a college audience on the role the company plays in education would both constitute engaging in the spokesperson role.

Both interpersonal and informational roles are really preludes to what are often considered to be a manager’s most important set of roles: the decisional roles of entrepreneur, disturbance handler, resource allocator, and negotiator. The entrepreneur role comes into action when the manager seeks to improve the work unit. This can be accomplished by adapting new techniques to fit a particular situation or modifying old techniques to improve individual or group activity. Managers usually learn of new or innovative methods through information gathered in the monitor role. As a result, a supervisor purchases a new kiln which will shorten the drying process for ceramic tiles; a director of a youth club trains staff in the use of personal computers to increase file access; or a president establishes a new pension plan to improve employee morale.

Where as the entrepreneur role establishes the manager as the initiator of change, the disturbance handler role establishes the manager as a responder to change. Organizations, unfortunately, do not run so smoothly that managers are never called upon to respond to unwelcome pressures. In these cases, the manager is required to act quickly to bring stability back to the organization. A law partner must settle a disagreement among associates in the firm on who will present a case before a judge; a personnel director must negotiate with striking employees dissatisfied with the procedures for laying off employees; or a cannery first-line manager must respond to a sudden shortage of cans used to package perishable fruit because the supplier has reneged on a contract. When a manager is placed in the position of having to decide to whom and in what quantity resources will be dispensed, the resource allocator role is assumed. Resources may include money, time, power, equipment, or people.

During periods of resource abundance, this role can be easily performed by a manager. In most cases, however, organizations operate under conditions of resource scarcity; thus, decisions on the allocation of resources can be critical for the success of the work unit, division, or organization. As a decision maker, the manager must strive not only to appropriately match resources with subordinates but also to ensure that the distribution of resources is coordinated to effectively complete the task to be performed. An office manager must provide secretaries with appropriate equipment to generate and duplicate documents. A manager of a fast-food restaurant must coordinate work shifts to have the maximum number of employees working during the lunch hour. Corporate presidents may provide their administrative assistants with decision-making responsibility for day-to-day matters. In addition to decisions concerning organizational changes, disturbances, and resources, the manager must enact a negotiator role. The process of negotiation is possible only when an individual has the authority to commit organizational resources.

Hence, as managers move up the managerial hierarchy and obtain control over more resources, they become more involved in the negotiator role. For example, the president of a record company may be called in to discuss terms of a possible contract with a major rock group; a production manager must negotiate with the personnel department to obtain employees with specialized skills; or a college dean must negotiate with department heads over course offerings and the number of faculty to be hired. The relative emphasis a manager places on these ten roles is highly dependent on the manager’s authority and status in the organization. Length of time on the job, position in the management hierarchy, goals of the subunit to be achieved, and skills the manager possesses all play a part in determining which roles are more prominent than others at any given time.

For instance, a marketing manager is more likely to emphasize the interpersonal roles because of the importance of personal contact in the marketing process. A financial manager, charged with responsibility for the economic efficiency of the organization, will probably focus on the decisional roles. A staff manager, or a manager who performs in an advisory capacity, is likely to be more heavily involved in the informational roles. Regardless of the differences that may occur, however, all managers enact interpersonal, informational, and decisional roles while performing their tasks. Effectively managing an organization is a demanding task.

Managers not only must develop skills related to the functional areas of management but also must learn how to integrate these activities. What makes this process demanding is that events and activities external and internal to an organization can radically change the techniques and methods managers must use in order to arrive at successful outcomes. Managers cannot afford to be limited in their view of management, nor can they simply rely on how things were done in the past.Even the most seasoned and successful managers are prone to mistakes. However, a more complete knowledge of the managerial process can reduce the chances of mistakes that will have dire consequences for an organization. Such knowledge may help managers to better plan, organize and staff, direct, and control organization activities within the context of their organization.

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