Is the work of modern day management still comparable to the ideas, and structures created by management theorists of the past? Management functions, roles, and skills, have been labelled as the three distinctive categories to aid the job description of managers (Robbins, Bergman, Stagg & Coulter, 2006). The purpose of this essay is to identify the work that is required from a manager of today, and evaluate the comparisons with the characterisations created by past management researchers, and their approaches. It will compare, and identify the manager’s work with the human skills theory of Katz, and distinguish any relevant features detailed in Mintzberg’s management roles. Relevant material from Fayol and Taylor has also been considered, and related back to the manager’s work. Research was collected via an interview with Peter Niewand--General Part’s manager--of a privately owned truck dealership¬¬, Isuzu. Peter Niewand has been a manager for over 20 years, and has aided in the expansion of this company, directly responsible for the establishment of three, highly successful service centres throughout Brisbane. Isuzu is a local, Australian-based organisation, and is well known within the service industry.
Katz’s human skills
Robert L. Katz identified three essential skills that managers require for success: technical, human, and conceptual (Robbins et al, 2006). The degree, to which these skills are used, would depend upon the management level. Top-level management place emphasis on conceptual skills, as they have to understand and develop ideas, be creative in solving problems, and have the ability to handle intellectual relationships. Lower level managers mainly concentrate on technical skills, requiring knowledge and understanding of particular skills, techniques, and tools of a particular area. Middle level managers require both conceptual and technical skills, as they need to comprehend the functions of top level, and first level managers. Solid human



References: Carroll, S. J. & Gillen, D. J. (1987). Are the classical management functions useful in describing managerial work: Academy of management review, vol. 12 issue1, (pp. 38-51) Lamond, D. (1998). Back to the future: Lessons from the past for a new management era: In G. Griffien (Ed.) Management theory and practice: Moving to a new era. MacMillan: Melbourne (pp. 3-14) Robbins, S., Bergman, R., Stagg, I., & Coulter, M. (2006), Management (4th ed.). Frenchs Forest, Australia: Pearson education Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd) Wren, D. (1994), Managing people and organisations reader Advent of scientific management Emergence of management and organisation theory in “Evolution of management thought”, John Wiley, (pp. 105-112)

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