After studying this chapter you will be able to: Tell who managers are and where they work Define management Describe what managers do Explain why it’s important to study management, and Describe the factors that are reshaping and redefining management
Managers work in organizations, which we define as a deliberate arrangement of people brought together to accomplish a specific purpose. Three characteristics that identify an organization are its: Goals People , and Structure. Examples of organizations include: Your neighborhood convenience store The Dallas Cowboys football team Fraternities and sororities The Cleveland Clinic, and Internationally known corporations such as Nokia.
Here we see the three common characteristics that organizations share: Goals, which express the distinct purpose of a particular organization People, who make decisions and reach the organization’s goals, and A deliberate structure, which systematically defines, limits, and guides its members’ behavior.
Members of an organization can be divided into two categories: Nonmanagerial employees work directly on a task and do not oversee the work of others. Examples include a cashier in a department store or someone who processes your license at the registry of motor vehicles office. Managers , who direct and oversee the activities of the people in the organization.
Here we see three levels of managers whose titles describe their place in the managerial hierarchy: top, middle, and first-line managers.
Top managers are those at or near the top of an organization. For instance, a Chief Executive Office (or CEO) often makes decisions about the direction of the organization and establishes policies and philosophies that affect all organizational members. Middle managers fall between the lowest and highest levels of the organization. They often manage other managers and sometimes nonmanagerial employees, and are responsible for translating the goals set by top managers into specific detailed tasks that lower-level managers oversee. Titles for middle managers may include plant manager, department manager, or project leader. First-line managers are responsible for directing the day-to-day activities of nonmanagerial employees, and receive such titles as supervisor, shift manager, or unit coordinator.
Management is the process of getting things done effectively and efficiently , with and through people. Getting things done effectively means “doing the right things,” that is, tasks that help an organization reach its goals. Doing the job efficiently means “doing things right” so that the organization’s resources—its people, money, and equipment—are used to their fullest.
In 1911, mechanical engineer Frederick Winslow Taylor’s newly published book, Principles of Scientific Management , described the theory of scientific management as the use of scientific methods to define the “one best way” for a job to be done. Taylor’s experience in the steel industry taught him that: Workers used vastly different techniques to do the same job, and Workers were placed in jobs with little concern for matching specific workers’ abilities and aptitudes with the tasks required of them. As illustrated here, efficiency is concerned with the means of getting things done by: Doing a task correctly Minimizing both resource use and cost, and Getting the greatest output from the smallest amount of inputs. Effectiveness is concerned with the ends , that is, doing the right tasks that result in attaining organizational goals.
Management researchers have developed three approaches to describe what managers do: By their functions By their roles, and By their skills and competencies. In the functions approach proposed by Henri Fayol, a French industrialist in the early twentieth century, all managers perform certain activities and functions, such as planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating, and controlling.
The four key management functions identified in contemporary management are planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Planning , which includes defining goals, establishing strategy, and developing plans to coordinate activities, ensures that the work is kept in proper focus and helps organizational members keep their attention on what is most important. Organizing and structuring work to accomplish the organization’s goals includes determining which tasks need to be done and by whom, how tasks are to be grouped, who reports to whom, and who will make decisions. Leading means that the manager will direct and coordinate the work activities of the people she supervises, motivate employees, select the most effective communication channel, and resolve conflicts among members. Controlling, which is the fourth and final management function, involves monitoring, comparing, and correcting work performance.
In the late 1960s, Canadian academic Henry Mintzberg conducted an empirical study of chief executives and discovered that managers were engaged in a number of varied, un-patterned, and short-duration activities. As a result, he defined management by categorizing ten roles that managers play, organized into the following three general categories: Interpersonal relationships involving subordinates and people outside the organization in the roles of figurehead, leader, and liaison; Information transfer that involves collecting, receiving, and disseminating information in the roles of monitor, disseminator, and spokesperson; and Decision-making that entails making choices in the roles of entrepreneur, disturbance handler, resource allocator, and negotiator.
Another way to describe what managers do is by looking at the skills they need for managing. Management researcher Robert L. Katz and others describe four critical skills: Conceptual skills Interpersonal skills Technical skills, and Political skills.
Until now, we’ve looked at management as a generic activity. But in reality, a manager’s job varies depending on: The manager’s level in the organization , and Whether the organization is a profit or nonprofit organization. Depending on a manager’s position within an organization, the importance of a manager’s role differs in degree and emphasis . That is, the decisions of a top manager will have greater ramifications than those of a middle manager due to the content of the decision. All managers—whether in profit or nonprofit organizations—make decisions and plan, lead, organize, and control. However, the following variables change based on the manager’s level in the organization: The amount of time a manager gives to each activity is not necessarily constant. For example, as seen in this illustration, as managers move up the organization they spend less time supervising and more time planning. T he content of the managerial activities also changes with the manager’s level . That is, a first-level manager spends the majority of his time leading but a top manager spends the majority of his time organizing. It’s important to note that management performance is measured according to different objectives depending on the nature of the organization: For businesses, profit is the bottom line, but Nonprofits do not exist to maximize profits.
How generic or universal are the manager’s roles when it comes to working in a small organization versus a large corporation? What differences might exist? Are the managerial concepts we’ve been discussing transferable across countries? If so, they would apply universally in any country in the world. However, research shows that while concepts transfer easily among many English-speaking countries, managers will likely have to modify their management when dealing with India, China, Chile, or other countries with economic, political, social, or cultural environments that differ from those of traditional Western free-market democracies.
As we see here, the importance of managerial roles in small and large businesses differ. For the purposes of our discussion, a small business is an independent business having fewer than 500 employees that doesn’t necessarily engage in any new or innovative practices and has relatively little impact on its industry. The most important role of a small business manager is that of spokesperson, performing externally in meeting with customers, arranging financing with bankers, searching for new opportunities, and stimulating change. The actions of manager in a large organization, however, are directed internally , deciding which organizational units get which and how much of the available resources.. A small business manager is more likely to be a generalist in a less formal, less structured, and less complex environment than his counterpart in a large organization. Managers in both small and large organizations perform essentially the same activities, but how they go about those activities and the proportion of time they spend on each differ.
Understanding management offers insights into why some companies get our orders right the first time, why once-thriving organizations no longer exist, and which companies continue to prosper during challenging economic times. Studying management provides knowledge about manager skills and responsibilities, how organizations function, and how people behave in the workplace.
Managers everywhere face changing circumstances such as managing workers in both domestic and foreign workplaces, emerging technologies, ethical and trust issues, and global economic uncertainties. As a result, how they manage is also changing and affecting the way they plan, organize, lead, and control. Two important changes to note are: The increasing importance of customers , and Innovation.
Organizations need customer to exist. Until recently, customer focus was thought to be the responsibility of marketing, but organizations are now discovering that employee attitudes and behaviors play a big role in customer satisfaction. Managers are recognizing that delivering consistent high-quality customer service is essential for survival and success in today’s competitive environment. They recognize that employees are an integral part of creating a customer-responsive organization where employees are friendly and courteous, accessible, knowledgeable, prompt in responding to customer needs, and willing to do what’s necessary to please the customer.
Innovation means doing things differently, exploring new territory, and taking risks. In today’s challenging environment, innovation is critical and managers need to understand what, when, where, how, and why innovation can be fostered and encouraged throughout an organization. Managers need to be personally innovative and to encourage their employees to be innovative.