The objective of an enterprise is to obtain a productive outcome. The manager plays an essential role in achieving the required outcomes. The manager must hold a set of managerial skills to optimise the effectiveness and efficiency of the enterprise using the available resources but also on an individual level by being an effective manager. General management includes planning, organising, executing and controlling the operations of an active enterprise.
2. Efficiency & Effectiveness
In everyday life, effectiveness and efficiency can be considered to be very similar terms, however in formal management theories they have very distinct meanings. Efficiency can be described as getting the most output for the least input, in simpler terms doing things right. Effectiveness is goal attainment ie doing the right things. Example of this: a nail needs to be hammered into a wall. Scenario one: a person is holding the nail while another person is hammering down on it; Scenario two: one person is the holding the nail with one hand while hammering down on the nail using the other hand. In both cases the effort given was similar and the end results were equally successful. Both scenarios achieved effectiveness however the latter scenario was more efficient as it required less resources. Effectiveness is the final end result which every manager strives for nevertheless it may not be attained at its highest if efficiency is not in place. Well refined managerial skills (effective management) allow the process of achieving high efficiency and high effectiveness within an enterprise. Generally it is means achieving a given target within a set time frame, at a high quality standard while making best use of all the relevant and available resources.
3. Levels of Management
Professor Katz identified three main management skills: conceptual, human relations and technical skills. He also identified that there may be different levels of management within the organisation; the top, the middle and supervisory. Each level of management work together using different degrees of these skills. The diagram below depicts which skills are required by which level of management. The higher level in the organisation require more of the conceptual skills, whilst the middle and lower levels of management demand more human relations and technical skills.
4. Management Skills
4.1 Conceptual skills
When several ideas start to form, new visions, targets and plans start to take shape to form the bigger picture. This area of management is broad and encompasses a variety of aspects which must all work in harmony to achieve the ultimate goal. Conceptual skills must be seen in a holistic way. It is, for example, how a project plan is going to be executed from start to finish and how the different elements throughout the project life will work and interact together. Managers are the ones who create plans and procedures within the organisation. Each element in an organisation is conceptualised and linked together - within budget, in the least time and with the best quality or service. Such skills are often seen to be acquired by top-level management who have a good understanding of the workings of the organisation. Basically, it’s thinking outside the box and ultimately having a vision for the company’s future. Thinking conceptually also means that you are aware of most of the risks or impediments that may affect the objective being sought and interfere with reaching the goal. For example, impact of staff termination or deliveries for a product being delayed. Having analytical and conceptual skills will help in tackling these stumbling blocks efficiently with the least amount of damage to the individual, team or whole organisation. Performing risk management allows anticipating or identifying any possible problems from happening which might reduce the efficiency of the tasks needed to be done. This important competence...
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