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Functions of a Managers / What managers do?


“A manager is someone who works with and through other people by coordinating their work activities in order to accomplish organizational goals.”

The changing nature of organizations and work has blurred the clear lines of distinction between managers and non-managerial employees. Many workers’ jobs now include managerial activities. Definitions used in the past may no longer work. Hence, an organizational member who works with and through other people by coordinating their work activities in order to accomplish organizational goals may be called a manager. However, keep in mind that managers may have other roles and work duties not related to integrating the work of others.

You should be aware that managers may have a variety of titles and roles. They perform various jobs and duties and are responsible for higher profits and for great performance. Managers work in various departments and are employed by many types of organization.

You will be meeting different managers in this session and note what jobs, roles and work they perform in their organizations, may it be national or multi-national or entrepreneurial organization.


What do managers do?

No two managers’ jobs are alike. But management writers and researchers have developed some specific categorization schemes to describe what managers do. We can focus on following five categorization schemes while making mind what do managers do:

1. Management functions and management process as detailed below:

Traditionally, a manager’s job has been classified according to the following four functions i.e.:

Planning: determining organizational goals and the means for achieving them

Organizing: deciding where decisions will be made, who will do what jobs and tasks, and who will work for whom

Leading: inspiring and motivating workers to work hard to achieve organizational goals

Controlling: monitoring progress towards goal achievement and taking corrective action when needed

I. Good managers are those who assure themselves to perform these functions well.

II. New-style or 21st century managers are changing the way they perform these functions, thinking of themselves more like mentors, coaches, team leaders, or internal consultants. They work with anyone who can help them accomplish their goals rather than only following the chain of command. They ask others to participate in making decisions and share information with others.

III. New-style managers perform four functions that have evolved out of the traditional functions: making things happen; meeting the competition; organizing people, projects, and processes; and leading.

A. Making Things Happen: To make things happen you must determine what you want to accomplish, plan how to achieve these goals, gather and manage the information needed to performance falls short.

B. Meeting the Competition: Free trade agreements, shorter product development cycles, and fewer barriers to entering industries have created increased competition. Companies must consider how to deal with international competitors, have a well-thought-out competitive strategy, be able to embrace change and foster new product and service ideas, and structure their organizations to quickly adapt to changing customers and competitors.

C. Organizing People: Projects and Processes: Changes in how a company is organized must consider both people issues and work processes (how the work gets done)

D. Leading: Motivating and inspiring workers.

Management process is the set of ongoing decisions and work activities in which managers engage as they plan, organize, lead, and control.

2. Managers perform various roles in organizations.

3. While performing, variety of management skills are needed and employed by managers.

4. Regardless of the level the manager is on, he or she must ensure that the work activities in the part of the organizational system he or she is responsible for are coordinated and integrated. 

5. Managers must “read” and attempt to interpret the situational contingencies facing them before deciding the best way to work with and through others as they coordinate work activities.


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