Management Skills

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In general there are three different types of managers, first line managers, middle managers and top managers. Each of the three managers has different specific ability required. This essay focuses on top-level managers and what are the skills necessary for top-level manager or Chief Executive Officers (CEOs). This thesis will also identifies the three types of managerial skill and compares Katz theory of Managerial Skills with Minzberg theory of Managerial Roles. Chief executives officers (CEOs) are certainly responsible enough for their position in the firm.

“Top managers are managers at or near the top level of the organisation who are responsible for making organisation-wide decisions and establishing the goals and plans that affect the entire organisation.” (Robbins, Bergman Stagg & Coulter, 2009, p. 9). According to Mintzberg theory, there are 10 managerial roles for managers. Afterward, in the 20th century, Henri Fayol approached with the supposition of five categories of management functions. In 1955, Katz came up with a straightforward idea called management skills. Robert L.Katz discovered that managers need three very important skills or capabilities.

The theory found by Katz consisted of three types of managerial skills: technical, human and conceptual skills. Managers are enforced to have these skills in order to perform their roles. “He also found that the relative importance of these skills varied according to the manager’s level within the organisation.” (Robbins, et al, 2009, p. 15). Katz supposed that if managers were to present successfully in their managerial roles they needed specific managerial understanding.

According to Katz (1955) technical skills primarily meant working with things not people. Whereas this may be true, “things” must be explained or decided very roughly when arguing managerial work. Technical skills are the competence and expertise in a certain specialised field as well as facility in the use of the tools and method of the specific discipline. Technical skills are likely to be more important for the lower level of managers to perform specialized tasks, it is relatively easy to visualize “such as accounting, conduction a sales presentation, computer programming, or electrical engineering involving technical skills” (Peterson & van Fleet, 2004) when each is performing their own special function. Robbins, Stagg, Coulter (2009, p.15) state that for example accounts payable managers must be proficient in accounting rules and standardised forms so that they can resolve problems and answer question that their accounts payable clerks might encounter. However, even though technical skills tend to be more important for the lower-level managers, yet proficiency may still needed for CEOs or top managers. “Technical skill is perhaps the most familiar because it is the most concrete, and because, in our age of specialization, it is the skill required of the greatest number of people.” (Katz, 1972)

Using the example of a young successful chief executive officer, Charlie Bell with the application of the three types of managerial skills. Charlie bell used his technical skills for flipping hamburgers, serving customers at McDonalds, cleaning tables and restrooms. “He acquired the technical skills of cooking the fries and all the other things crew members have to do” (Robbins, et al. 2009, p. 16). Nevertheless, technical skill is not essential for top managers.

Human skills are commonly required at all level of managers. It is defined as the “ability to work cooperatively with others, to communicate effectively, to resolve conflict, and to be a team player.”(Peterson, et al, 2004). It is recommended to all managers to have human skill, the ability to work well with other people independently and in a group, in addition of understanding and motivating others. It is the key to be successful in management practice, thus made human skill is essential important. Roberts, et al (2009)...
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