Fundamentally, all managers, regardless of their levels, require knowledge of managerial jobs to perform the work successfully. In order to perform effective managerial jobs, all levels of managers need to fulfill the basic managerial functions, enact key managerial roles, as well as develop managerial skills to suit with the jobs (Bailey, Schermerhorn, Hunt and Osborn 1991 pg.18). However, even though, managers at all levels perform similar managerial jobs, the importance on each job is placed differently depends on level and responsibilities of each manager. Further details about each managerial job and the importance placed on each job for different levels of managers will be explored in this essay.
To begin with, managers are “persons in organizations who directly support and help activate the work efforts and performance accomplishment of others” (Schermerhorn, campling, poole and wiesner 2004 pg.15). Within most of the organizations, there are three different levels of managers, which are top managers, middle managers and first line managers. Top managers are responsible for the performance of an organization as a whole or, as well as, the major parts, for example, chief executive officer (CEO), chief operating officer or managing director. Middle managers are persons who in charge of slightly large departments or divisions which consist of several smaller work units (Bailey, Schermerhorn, Hunt and Osborn 1991 pg.15). The examples for this are division managers, plant managers or deans. First line managers are people who responsible for small work groups composed of non-managerial workers, such as, supervisor, department head or group leader (Schermerhorn, campling, poole and wiesner 2004 pg.16). In order to become effective managers, managers need to perform three managerial jobs which are management functions, management roles and management skills.
Firstly, in order to perform the work effectively, Henri Fayol (1949) suggested that managers need to perform four management functions, which are planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Planning is “the process of setting performance objective and identifying the actions needed to accomplish them” (Bailey, Schermerhorn, Hunt and Osborn 1991 pg.19). This process enables the managers to identify desired work results and how to achieve them (Schermerhorn, campling, poole and wiesner 2004 pg.19). Organizing is the process which managers turn the plan into actions by assigns the jobs for workers and support them with technology and other resources (Schermerhorn, campling, poole and wiesner 2004 pg.19). Leading is the process of motivating people’s enthusiasm to work hard and direct the work efforts to successfully accomplish the assigned tasks (Schermerhorn, campling, poole and wiesner 2004 pg.20). Lastly, controlling, the process of monitoring the performance and ensure that the result is suited with the objective, also taking corrective action as needed (Bailey, Schermerhorn, Hunt and Osborn 1991 pg.20).
However, difference in levels of managers emphasizes different importance on each function. This can be shown in figure 1 below.
Distribution of time per function by organizational level
Source: Robbins, S.P. & Bergman, R. & Stagg, I. & Coulter, M. (2003), Management, 3rd edition, Pearson Education Australia, French Forest, NSW.
From the graph, it can be illustrated that the process of leading forms the largest part at low management level as well as middle management level. However, according to theorist’s assumption, the emphasizing of leading at lower level manager has changed to planning and organizing as managers move up to higher level (Mahoney, Jerdee and Carroll 1965). Therefore, it can be said that most of the planning process is done by the top managers (top managers spend 28% of their time for planning while only 15% and 18% for first line and middle...