Mr. Jay

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Nowadays people are living in a world which is composed of various organizations. Every organization has specific members and environments to perform its functions. Thus, how to arrange an organization and make the organization developed successfully has became a relevant issue. The way to answer this question is “management”. Management is the scientific way to make organizations to work continually. People who are responsible for organizing subordinates and organisational resources are called managers. To discuss the authorities and responsibilities of management, management theoreticians classify management into different levels. Some management theoreticians particularly classify management into four levels. However, most of the management theoreticians classify management into three levels: first-line (or first-level), middle, and top management. First-line management refer to the lowest level management which are responsible for the works of others in an organization. Middle management can be defined as people who guide the activities of low-level managers and sometimes to guide parts of operating workers. Top management are people who take responsibilities for the overall managements of the organization. Every level of management has special functions, and organizations can use different levels of management to improve organizations’ performance, this essay shows difficulties that three levels of management often face and the functions that three levels of management contribute in improvement of organizations.

First-line management can be a bridge between middle management and employees. First-line managers receive orders from middle managers and conduct employees to complete orders. Thus, a clear understanding between middle managers and first-line managers as well as between first-line and employees is very important. Management theoreticians have proved the roles that first-line management plays in organizations through testing the advisors in industries and have found the difficulties that first-line managers usually face. Boyd and Jensen designed a series of questions for first-line managers and their immediate supervisors (i.e. the middle managers) to test their responses to the situations of workplaces. Boyd and Jensen show the problems that first-line managers face can be divided into two types: toward their superiors and toward their subordinates. Toward superiors, the problem regards authorities struggle. Both first-line managers and middle managers disagree with the authority relationship between them. Toward subordinates, the problem regards position identifying. Most of first-line managers cannot fully comprehend the limits of first-line managers’ authorities and functions of employees. These situations may decrease the work efficiency of first-line managers. Therefore, in order to improve organizations, Boyd and Jensen point out the sources of first-line managers’ problems. Toward their superiors, the middle managers do not efficiently explain their authorities to the first-line managers, nor do the first-line managers look for enough clarification of the authorities from their directors (i.e. the middle managers). Toward their subordinates, the study reveals some possible reasons that cause misunderstandings between first-line managers and their subordinates: the unclear definition of the levels of authority, the unconstrained subordinates, the uncertain limits of first-line managers’ authorities, the difficulties that first-line managers find to make the commitment to the subordinates, and the specific demands has never been identified. Thus, in order to improve organizations’ efficiency, both middle managers and first-line managers should clearly explain their authorities as well as requirements to their subordinates. After understanding the communications skills of first-line managers are important, how can first-line managers’ positions affect organizations can be a further problem.

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