Manager's Work, Roles and Skills

Topics: Management, Leadership, Skills management Pages: 6 (1700 words) Published: September 22, 2008
This essay examines the question of whether managerial work, roles, and skills are same throughout the world. Academic journals and textbooks are used in this essay to provide some evidences and examples to support the conclusion. The academic journals and textbooks were obtained from Monash University’s library. Conclusion of this essay indicates that organizational level and cultural diversity have significant influence on degree and emphases of the managerial work, roles, and skills performed by managers throughout the world.

In all societies, people are involved in managing things. Everyone manages, but not everyone is a manager. “A manager is someone who works with and through other people by coordinating their work activities in order to accomplish organizational goals” (Robbins, Bergman, Stagg and Coulter, 2003, p.6). Robbins and DeCenzo (2005, p.10) stated that “A manager is a manager regardless of where he or she manages”. The statement has led to one question. Are the manager’s job and activities universal?

It is believed that there is no such thing as universal manager. Managers around the world perform similar work, roles, and skills. However, it should not be interpreted that the activities of all managers are the same. The differences are of degrees, importance and emphasis they put on their work, roles and skills due to some factors such as organizational level and size, culture, political and economic condition. This essay will only emphasize on organizational level and cultural factors.

The purpose of this essay is to discuss and examine whether the work, roles, and skills of a manager are the same throughout the world. Analytical discussion will be constructed with the use of evidences and examples to support the conclusion of this essay.

In the global marketplace, where management is no longer constrained by national borders, one of the significant challenges that managers have to face is the rapidly changing environment. Managers have to deal with situations in which diversity is one of the issues. Diversity here can be referred to economic, social, political, or cultural differences. In essence, all managers from different countries will have to continually adapt their performances to deal with changes.

Culture exists at various levels. Neelankavil, Mathur, and Zhang (2000) through their research have concluded that “managers from different national cultures vary widely as to their basic conception of what constitutes effective managerial practices”. Lenartowicz and Johnson (2002) stated that where there is cultural diversity across nations, core values of managers are expected to differ and resulting in differences in managerial behavior. Those statements, however, do not directly answer the significant question of whether the managerial activities across countries are the same. To answer the question, manager work, roles, and skills will be discussed separately. Managerial Work

It was proposed by Henri Fayol (1916) that all managers perform four works: planning, leading, organizing, and controlling (Robbins et al., 2003). The works were initially known as planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating, and controlling. Many people believe that management works are universally applicable, which means that they can be applied in every organization around the world. For example, a CEO of a multinational company in New York and a supervisor of a small supermarket in Petaling Jaya may not do the same things everyday. However, if seen further, they both do the planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Nevertheless, there are also some other things that make the managerial works performed by managers around the world somewhat not exactly the same.

Robbins and DeCenzo (2005) suggest that managers in higher organizational level tend to do more planning and less leading, while managers in lower organizational level tend to do more leading and less...
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