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The scope of management both in terms of types of work or organizations managed and the specific functions or roles performed by management is vast. It is not worthwhile or even possible to prepare a comprehensive list of all the roles performed by managers and identify all the skills required in effective performance of these roles. To help understand the nature of management work and the general requirements for becoming effective managers, different authors have classified management role and functions in different ways. I will describe some of these alternate approaches.
One of the most widely known approach to identification of management role is to identify the primary management functions that constitute the basic management process. These management functions are planning, organizing, leading and controlling. Corresponding to these we can speak of four management skill of planning, organizing, leading and controlling.
Another popularly used list of managerial roles has been suggested by Mintzberg. He has identified ten managerial roles divided in three categories as listed below.
- Figurehead role: In this role the manager is only acting as a figurehead to represent the company.
- Leadership role: In this role a manages leads, motivates and guides the people working under him.
- Liaison role: In this role the managers develops maintains and manages relationship with people in other parts of the organization and with outsiders .
- Recipient role: To collect and receive information required by him and other working under him for performance of their work.
- Disseminator role: Passing on to subordinates the information required by them.
- Spokesperson role: Passing on information to people in other parts of organization as well as to outsiders.
- Entrepreneurial role: This involves innovating and taking initiatives to to give new directions to the activities of the organization.
- Disturbance-handler role: This basically involves unexpected problems as and when they occur.
- Resource allocator role: this involve taking decision on how the resources of the organization are to be used and making them available to subordinates who need to use those resources in performance of their duties.
- Negotiator role: Reaching agreements with various persons and groups to ensure their commitment and actions as required for achievement of organizational objectives.
Corresponding to these roles we can again identify corresponding skills such as leadership skills, problem solving skills and negotiating skills.
Another classification of management skills is given by R.L. Katz. He identifies three different skills.
- Technical Skills: These are the skills associated with the technology of the work managed. For example, a production manager must have some expertise in the technology of the manufacturing processes he manages.
- Human skills: These skills are required for dealing with subordinates, colleagues, superiors and outsiders.
- Conceptual and design skills: These are the general skill in analysis and evaluation for managerial decision making.
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