Management Levels Explained

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What is the difference between first-line, middle, and senior management? Discuss the key skills required to perform effectively at each level of management. Assess your own strengths and development needs in terms of the skills required to be an effective first-line manager. In the operation of any sizeable company, different levels of management are responsible for maintaining successful production and development of the business. Over the course of this discussion, I will define management, three different levels of management, and address skills required at each level for effective performance. I will critique my own strengths and areas requiring improvement in order to be a successful first-line manager. For the purposes of this essay, and according to Campling (2006, p19), I will define the act of management as the ‘planning, organising, leading and controlling the use of resources to accomplish performance goals.’ Within the scope of his or her role, the manager is required to perform these duties, balancing needs of the business, needs of employees, customers, and meeting legislative requirements. To this end, in a large company, there exists three tiers of management, each one responsible for planning, organising, leading, but with different performance goals, timeframes and strategies, which I will discuss in further depth. The first level of management I will discuss is first-line management. Stoner (1995, p. 16), states simply that ‘first-line managers direct non-management employees.’ That is, in a hierarchical structure, they sit at the first line of management above front-line workers. First-line managers face a series of challenges in managing their workplace and their business, unique to this level. As they are ‘the link between more senior management and workers in the organisation,’ (Saville, J 1994, p. 24), they are often required to perform duties and have technical expertise in the actual production of the business’ end product. They are...
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