Essay On "The Work And Skills Of Managers Are The Same Irrespective Of The Level Of Their Position Within The Organisation." Discuss

1754 words - 8 pages

The work and skills required of managers across organisations varies greatly according to a boundless number of factors. In order to identify and analyse the function of managers in organisations, it is of utmost importance to first isolate the environment in which managers exist. Working towards a purposely identified set of goals, an organisation comprises people who must work with and through each other to meet these goals (Robbins, Bergman, Stagg & Coulter, 2003). While the deliberate structure of an organisation may vary greatly depending on its specific goals, this structure of professional relationships allows the members of the organisation to work efficiently and effectively ...view middle of the document...

Accordingly, the functional organisations of the past are a stark contrast from the companies of today. The organisations have evolved through many different structures to be much more dynamic and flexible, and require management at incremental levels throughout. The changing nature of the organisation over recent history has led us to take new perspectives on what it is that managers in these organisations actually do.Functional theories attempt to explain and account for the work of managers as described through the functions they perform on a day to day basis. Of the first functional theories was that of Fayol (1949) who postulated that managers all perform five basic functions, regardless of their specific focus. Managerial literature has condensed these five basic functions to four (Robbins et al, 2003); planning, organising, leading and controlling. While this theory has been predominant, it has been questioned by other theorists. Mintzberg (1973) gathered data on the workday of managers. He concluded that the work of a manager consisted of many disjointed episodes, discovering that over half a manager's tasks throughout the day lasted less than nine minutes, and a mere 10% exceeded an hour in duration. Despite this, Carroll and Gillen (1987) still maintain that the classical functions [of Fayol] still remain the most effective way to conceptualise the job of managers. Mintzberg (1973) concluded through his research that the best way to conceptualise the work of a manger was to investigate the roles that they adopt during the workday. These roles consist of interpersonal, informational and decisional roles, which comprise the manager's tasks. The interpersonal role involves the manager acting in a symbolic manner around and with other people, the informational role involves managers receiving, collecting and distributing salient information, while the decisional role involves managers making choices pertinent to the organisation and its employees. If we were to contrast the work of a line manager on the factory floor to a national operations manager, it is clear that while the content of their decisional roles is disparate, they both still undertake the role to varying degrees. Similarly with the interpersonal and informational roles; the content of these roles may vary, however the roles are nevertheless undertaken regularly.Another functional theory attempting to explain what managers actually do is put forth by Luthans (1988). Rather than observing managers in one organisation to generalise functions or roles, Luthans observed managers from all levels in many different types of organisation (with regard to industry, sector and size). While observing these managers, it was noted that the descriptive categories derived from the observation method could be reduced and grouped into four activities that managers, regardless of position, undertake. Luthans description of what managers do amalgamates other managerial theories, including...

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