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Management Assignment 1
Lecturer : Ms.Carrol Kong|

By : Brian Lim Phang Seng
By : Brian Lim Phang Seng

In this essay, I would like to discuss about the relevance of the threes skills by Katz and the work of top managers. The definition and general example of the three skill identified by Robert Katz will be on the introduction. The body of this essay contains the relevance of the three skills to top manager and the summary as well as my opinion be in the conclusion. A manager is someone who leads others to accomplish goals efficiently and effectively within an organization’s members (Robbins, Bergmen, Stagg & Coulter, 2009). According to Robbins (2009) , manager can be classify into three different levels which are First line manager , Middle managers and Top managers. At the top of pyramid is the top manager which is normally the Chief Executive Officer or General Manager. Planning the strategies and organization direction will be their main task. Dealing with the board of the organization and resolving problems caused by environment factor such as political and technological changes will be part of their job as well. Human skills, technical skills and conceptual skills are the three skills identified by Robert Katz (1974, as cited in Robbins, 2009), that are paramount for managers in order to be successful. Firstly, technical skills refer to specific knowledge and ability to perform or analysis specific task according to (Clem and Mujtaba, 2010). For example, a car manufacturing company’s managers should possess specific and technical knowledge about car’s part and engines as it makes their job easier when it comes to production process, suppliers enquiry and customer services. Secondly, according to Robbins (2009), Human skills are the ability to communicate and interact with other people disregarding the position and level. Leading, motivating and solving conflicts in organization is also considered as part of the Human skills according to Robbins (2009). Example is the ability of a Top manager in leading the employee and setting good examples and creating organizational culture. Conceptual skills refer to the ability to conceptualize and to think about abstract situations (Robbins et al., 2009). Other than that, conceptual skills also refer to the ability to analyze and resolve complex situation and problems by using its vision and treating the organization as a whole but not from individual preference. For example, Aston Martin’s CEO decided to use an all new engine in order to solve the fuel efficiency problem.


First and foremost, the importance of technical skill drops when the level of manager rises. Technical skills are more important for lower levels of managers compare to top managers according to Robin (2009). Even though the skills are not as relevant to top managers, top managers still need some proficiency in organization’s specialty. For example, the Chief Executive Officer of Ferrari should possess a good amount of knowledge about cars and engine parts as it enable them analysis and identify the benefits and disadvantage easily. Technical skills could be one of the key factors for employees to be promoted according to Peterson and Van Fleet (2004).However, as managers get promoted, the requirement of technical skills will drop. Research conducted by Carroll and Gillen (1987) also shows that top level managers require knowledge of specialties such as technology, economy and political condition faces by the organization are the major components and factor required to perform tasks. Another example will be Steve Job, when he is still the CEO of Apple, he participated in research and developing of new product. A certain amount of technical knowledge on electrical components is required in order for him to do so.

In the case of Ian McLeod of the Coles Group (Robbins et al., 2009), the importance of technical skills is truly shown as Ian McLeod...
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