Katz & Mintzberg

Topics: Management, Skills management, Henri Fayol Pages: 5 (1634 words) Published: September 22, 2008
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 skills are pivotal in all levels of management, as the ability to interact effectively with people is of the upmost importance; enabling you to enjoy full participation from all involved (Robbins et al., 2006). Niewand’s management functions reflect the ideas of Katz, displaying a high, and important usage of human skills. Considerable time is spent ensuring that all team members have the capacity to communicate well, which enables the channels for important feedback, on all aspects of the business, to remain open. He argues that a manger needs his people to place their trust in him, and the way to obtain trust is to be consistent, and act with integrity. Niewand states that although his position involves many facets, with ample reports to sift through, he would never lose sight of his staff, or their needs; ensuring support and respect within their agreed roles, through the ready application of advice and assistance. Mentoring is considered a critical factor to help aid the motivation of staff, keeping them focused and enthusiastic, while obtaining a mutual respect. Mintzberg’s managerial roles

Investigations by another notable researcher, Henri Mintzberg, led to the identification of ten interconnected, managerial roles, which are used during the daily functions of a manager (Robbins, et al., 2006). Mintzberg categorised these roles into three main groups: interpersonal, informational, and decisional, and has been praised for the practicality of his approach in describing the work of a manager (Carroll & Gillen, 1987). This is evident when comparing Mintzberg’s theories to the following work produced by the manager, Niewand. The Interpersonal group contained three roles: figurehead, leader, and liaison. Niewand displays a limited involvement as a figurehead, referring issues at hand to his legal department, and only taking actions as instructed. Moderate participation within a liaison role is evident, with Niewand carrying out routine meetings, updates, and...

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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