Managerial Skills in the 21st Century

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Managers in the 21st Century

Managers nowadays do not actually do what a manager really should do back in the eighties. Changes that occurred in the new economy, the increasing use of technology in business, and the effects of globalisation towards business world have led management into a whole new dimension. New managers are expected to be able to manage on an international scale, act strategically, utilize technology, establish values, and of course, act responsibly as well. (Crainer, 1998) Henry Mintzberg once asked, "What do managers do?" After conducting his research based on a study of five CEOs, he concluded that managerial work involves interpersonal role, decisional role and informational role. And the fact is that, managers get things done through other people. Therefore, managers are required to possess certain skills and competencies which allow them to play these roles effectively and efficiently throughout the four functions of management. (Mintzberg, 1998)

Technical Skills
First and foremost, effective managers are of course, required to have the basic management skills in order to be able to manage an organisation. Any managers has to possess certain technical skills which allow them to perform specialised task, particularly those first-line managers as they spend more time helping employees to solve work-related problems and they are mostly involved in supervising individual performance and instructing subordinates, for instance, ensuring that the products and services are being delivered to customers on a daily basis. (Robbins and Coulter, 2005) In other words, managers are required to possess "the ability to utilise tools, techniques, and procedures that are specific to a particular field." (Lewis, Goodman, and Fandt, 2004:12) In fact, managers are the first to look up for whenever employees encounter problems. (Griffin & Ebert, 2004) Geoff Castledine, for instance, who holds the post of manufacturing plant manager at the Uncle Ben's plant in Wodonga, Victoria, needed different technical skills in order to be able to make good judgment and decision about putting in a new cooker for the pet food. Thus, he encourages integration of different technical skills where his team of managers could make a sound decision on dealing with the problems they faced. (Samson & Daft, 2003)

Human Skills
Any managers in an organisation would need skills that enable them to understand and get along with other people while getting the most out of them, for instance, their subordinates or colleagues in order to be able to get the jobs done and attain the organisational goals and these involves human skills.(Griffin & Ebert, 2004) An effective manager's job is not just giving orders or supervising the employees, their responsibilities actually involve integrating themselves into the culture of their employees in the sense that they get to know the path to effective delegations, the ways in dealing with conflicts within the organisation, and of course, be a team player and comprehend the way to work efficiently with people from different backgrounds. This is because managers are in fact, the ones who determine the behaviours and morale of employees in an organisation by managing group moral force while promoting cooperation and resolve conflicts. (Gomez-Mejia, et al, 2005) Human skills of managers are crucial in making employees feel valued and inspired, which in turn, promotes a close working relationship that are fun. (Samson & Daft, 2003) Atiq Raza, CEO of high-tech firm Raza Foundries, for instance has used human skills daily to communicate effectively with his employees. He developed his human skills so well that his employees are almost fanatically committed to him. Manager like Atiq Raza will not only being liked but as well received full supports from his team of employees. By producing a closely-associated workforce, there's nothing much but high efficiency and productivity. (Griffin & Ebert, 2004)...
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