Management Positions: A Research Paper
Levels of Management:
The managerial functions are performed not only at the top of organizational hierarchy and not only the people at the top are the only ones titled managers. It is important that the work of manager must be performed at all levels of an organization, that is, from chief executive to first-line supervisor. Although it would be possible to slice the management structure in an organizational hierarchy into any number of vertical levels, usually three levels are cited. These are top management, middle management and supervisory or first-level management.
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The number of management positions usually varies with the level of management. In most of the organizations, there are more positions at the first level, fewer in the middle, and still fewer at the top. This gives a pyramidal shape to the management, hierarchy. In public organizations, the top manager is usually called an administrator, and the work of management is called administration. Following are some of the activities performed at these levels of management.
· Develops and reviews long-range plans and strategies.
· Evaluates overall performance of various departments and ensures cooperation.
· Involved in selection of key personnel
· Consults subordinate managers on subjects or problems of general scope
· Makes plans of intermediate range and prepares long-range plans for review by top management
· Analyzes managerial performance to determine capability and readiness for promotion
· Establishes departmental policies
· Reviews daily and weekly reports on production or sales
· Counsels subordinates on production, personnel or other problems.
· Selection and recruitment of personnel
· Makes detailed, short-range operating plans
· Reviews performance of subordinates
· Supervises day-to-day operations
· Makes specific task assignments
· Maintains close contract with operative employees.
The Manager’s Functions:
It was stated earlier that management is getting things done through other people, a manager performs a series of functions. Generally, these functions are planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling. In essence, managers must make sure that the course of action is planned, coordinated and carried out so that the intended goals of the organization can be attained. As the organization becomes large, the role of its managers becomes more crucial. Whatever the size of the organization, three managerial responsibilities stand out distinctly. These responsibilities are:
· Responsibility to self: This involves carrying out the duties and responsibilities of managerial job to the best of one’s ability
· Responsibility to subordinates: Developing subordinates for future responsibilities and helping them to perform adequately in their current jobs
· Responsibility to the organization: Strengthening the organization for continued growth while working toward the established goals
· The basic function of manager is to get results through the efforts of others. But how does a manager achieve this? What are the components of the process of managing? What are the things a manager does to get these results? An answer to all these questions constitutes the essence of management.
Training is an important component of the total quality management process. The Survey on Employer Provided Training defines formal training as training that is planned in advance and that has a defined curriculum. The training can take place in a variety of settings, including, but not limited to, the classroom. Thus, a demonstration of a job skill on the shop floor could be considered formal training, as long as it was planned in advance and had a defined structure that was being followed in teaching the skill. In contrast, a spontaneous demonstration of a job skill to answer a question posed by an employee to a supervisor would be considered informal or on-the-job training (Frazis, Herz & Horrigan, 1995). With the increasing trend of globalization and mobility of factors of production especially labor new concepts have evolved in business literature. Diversity training is one of them.
Diversity training has been categorized in different ways. One perspective looks at six general classifications: (1) ethnic, black, or feminist studies, (2) psychotherapeutic approaches, (3) sensitivity training, (4) dissonance creation, (5) cultural awareness, and (6) legal awareness (Nemetz & Christensen, 1996)
A total quality management program should be introduced in order to overcome the problem.
The first step will involve an orientation regarding the improvement plan to the executive management in order to explain the advantages of the improvement plan, barriers to success, factors facilitating the successful implementation. The role of the executive management is critical in the implementation of the improvement plan.
The second step will involve the middle level managers. At this stage the training will be provided to the middle managers. At this stage less emphasis is given to the strategic planning and the macro management of the process. More time is spent on the tools and techniques of improving the online service provision with specific attention to environmental issues and behavioral actions that will facilitate the process.
The 3rd step will involve the training of the technical/professional staff on problem solving skills along with the quantitative tools and techniques.
In step 4; training is given to those individuals who will serve as the in-house improvement process facilitators and trainers. This group will then:
· Provide TQM training to workers before implementation.
· Serve as facilitator of process improvement teams to ensure the teams function effectively and use the TQM tools and techniques properly.
· Serve as a continuing resource for departments and individuals that are using TQM.
· Provide refresher TQM training to individuals and teams.
· Train new employees.
Training for trainers includes a solid grounding in the TQM philosophy, use of all improvement tools, problem solving, and group leader ship and communication skills.
Appraisal is essential for effective managing. In the Work Planning and Review approach to appraisal, It will be emphasized that frequent performance discussions need to be undertaken. But performance discussions and salary actions will be dealt with at separate meetings.
Appraisal will measure performance in achieving goals and plans and performance as a manager, that is, how well a person carries out key managerial activities. Traditional appraisal methods that attempt to measure personality traits have serious limitations. Therefore it is decided by the management to use the effective method of appraising managers against verifiable objectives. This approach is operational, related to the manager’s job, and relatively objective. Still, a person may perform well (or badly) because of luck or factors beyond his or her control therefore; the management-by-objectives approach should be supplemented by appraisal of managers as managers, that is, appraisal of how well they perform their key managerial activities.
The reviews should be undertaken on the basis of continuous monitoring. In the given suggested appraisal program, key managerial activities should be presented as checklist questions and grouped under the categories of planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling.
Strategic choices require trade-off. Some alternatives involve high risks, others low risks. Some choices demand action now other choices can wit. Rational and systematic analysis is just one step in the strategic planning process, for a choice also involves personal preferences, personal ambitions, and personal values.
Development of short-range organizational Objectives and Action Plans:
The organizational strategy has to be supported by short-term objectives and action plans, which can be a part of the performance appraisal process. The short-term objective of the organization is to increase the customer satisfaction, which will lead to increased market share in future. Objectives often must be supported by action plans.
The achievement of the above stated goal will involve effective completion of the different tasks by different departments. All the managers of related department are required to prepare a schedule for achieving short-term goals, doing the homework, and obtaining the support of the team members. It is obvious that the long-term strategic organizational plans need to be supported by short-term objectives and action plans (Koontz & Weihrich, 1994).
Placing too much weigh on current performance in the selection process can force well-intentioned appraisers to make a poor decision. For example, the highest performing teller in a bank may not be the best person to be promoted to loan officer. (Prince, 1994)
Process behavior tends to be more within the person’s control. One of the basic concepts of TQM is continuous process improvement, therefore, if this concept is to be achieved, it must be appraised. There is frequently a lag between process improvement and the results from that improvement. (Webber, 1995)
· Harley J. Frazis, Diane E. Herz & Michael W. Horrigan, (1995). Employer-Provided Training: Results from a New Survey, Monthly Labor Review. 118, 5, (1995), 3.
· Koontz, H. & Weihrich, H., (1994). Management: A Global Perspective, International Edition, McGraw-Hill, Singapore.
· L Bruce Prince, (1994). Performance appraisal and reward practices for total quality organizations, quality management journal (January 1994) p.36 –46
· Nemetz, P. and Christensen, S., (1996). “The Challenge of Cultural Diversity: Harnessing a Diversity of Views to Understand Multiculturalism,” Academy of Management Review, 21, 2 (1996), 434-462.
· Allan J. Weber, (1995). Making performance Appraisals Consistent with a Quality Environment, Quality Digest (June 1995): 65-69