Management job is different from other jobs. It requires elements of stewardship and commitment to the purpose.
Management job is different from
other jobs. It requires elements of stewardship and commitment to the purpose.
It involves the obligation to make prudent use of human and material resources.
It requires sound judgment to handle complex situations. Further, the nature of
the job becomes increasingly complex at each higher level because of the
increase in the scope of authority and responsibility. Therefore, each higher
level requires increased knowledge, broader perspective and greater skills.
For the purpose of analysis,
skills required of a manager are classified under three heads – technical, human (employee relations
skill) and conceptual skills as shown in Figure 2.2. The exhibit helps in
understanding the levels of management responsibility, the principal skill
requirements, and the extent to which each kind of skill is required at each
Skills Technical skills refer to the
ability to use the tools, equipment, procedures, techniques and knowledge of a
specialized field. It is primarily concerned with the ways of doing the things.
It implies proficiency in a specific field of activity. Technical skills are
most important for the lower level managers, because by nature their job
involves supervision of the workers. Effective supervision and coordination of
the work of the subordinates, therefore, depends on the technical skill
possessed by the lower level manager. Any supervisor without a sound knowledge
of the job cannot make an effective supervisor. Such supervisors are not
respected by the subordinates at the shop floor. The relative importance of the
technical skills as compared to the other skills diminishes as one move up to
higher levels of management.
Skills Human skills are primarily
concerned with “persons” in contrast
to “things”. When a manager is highly
skilled in employee relations, he is aware of their attitudes, assumptions, and
beliefs and recognizes their limitations as well as their usefulness. He
accepts as an important fact of life, the existence of viewpoints and feelings,
different from his own. Thus, human skills refer to the ability of the manager
to work effectively as a group member and to build cooperative effort in the
team he leads. It is the ability to work with, understand and motivate people.
He understands why people behave as they do and is able to make his own
behaviour understandable to them. He can foresee their reactions to possible
courses of action. His skill in working with others is natural and continuous.
He does not apply it in random or in inconsistent fashion. It is a natural
ingredient of his every action. The flair for understanding, empathizing and
working with people are central to the human skills.
Skills Conceptual skills also called design and
problem-solving skills involve the ability to: 1. see the organization and the various components of
it as a whole; 2. understand how its various parts and functions are
related in a network
fashion; and 3. to
foresee how changes in any one of these may affect the others. Conceptualskillsextendtovisualizingtherelationoftheorganization
to industry, to the community and to the political, economic and social forces
of the nation as a whole and even to forces which operate beyond the national
boundaries. It is the creative force within the organization. A high degree of
conceptual skill helps in analyzing the environment and in identifying the
opportunities and threats. Managements of companies like ITC, Larsen &
Toubro, Asian Paints, Bajaj Auto, Bharthi Telecom in the private sector and
National Dairy Development Board, Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) in the public
sector, to mention a few, have amply demonstrated this skill in gaining a competitive
edge over their competitors. As you have understood by now –
the three types of skills discussed so far are not mutually exclusive. In other
words, management job always requires all the three skills, but in different
proportions depending upon the level of management. There is a gradual shift in
the emphasis from the bottom to the top of the pyramid. Technical skills and
human skill are always in great demand at the lower level of management for it
is there the productive processes and operations are carried out. It is there
where you find most of the people. It is there where the action takes place. In
contrast, the need for conceptual skill is greatest at the top level of
management. Obviously, top managers are not often involved in the direct
application of specific methods, procedures and techniques, compared to those
at the lower echelons of management. As evident from the foregoing
discussion, at the entry level of the management job, that is, at the
supervisory level, besides technical skills, a manager has to process human
skills and the problem-solving skills (conceptual). To climb up the
organizational ladder, one must not only be good at the skills required for the
present job, but also learn and acquaint with the skills required at the next
level. As result, in the event of promotion to the next higher levels, he/she
would feel at home and discharge the responsibilities with ease. Based on the differences in the
type of skills required, organizations assess the training needs of the
managers. Accordingly, appropriate training, development methods and programs are designed to equip them with the
skills required at the respective levels. Although, each of these skills is
needed in some degree at every level of management, there are successful
executives who have no great amount of technical skills. But they are able to
compensate the lack of that skill through superior creative ability and skill
in identifying the talent and empowering the people through effective human
resources development practices and good leadership.
Tags : Management Concepts & Organisational Behaviour - Levels In Management
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