In order to perform the functions of management and to assume multiple roles, managers must be skilled. Robert Katz identified three managerial skills that are essential to successful management: technical, human, and conceptual . Technical skill involves process or technique knowledge and proficiency. Managers use the processes, techniques and tools of a specific area. Human skill involves the ability to interact effectively with people. Managers interact and cooperate with employees.
Conceptual skill involves the formulation of ideas. Managers understand abstract relationships, develop ideas, and solve problems creatively. Thus, technical skill deals with things, human skill concerns people, and conceptual skill has to do with ideas. A manager's level in the organization determines the relative importance of possessing technical, human, and conceptual skills. Top level managers need conceptual skills in order to view the organization as a whole. Conceptual skills are used in planning and dealing with ideas and abstractions.
Supervisors need technical skills to manage their area of specialty. All levels of management need human skills in order to interact and communicate with other people successfully As the pace of change accelerates and diverse technologies converge, new global industries are being created (for example, telecommunications). Technological change alters the fundamental structure of firms and calls for new organizational approaches and management skills. Organizations are two or more people working together in a structured, formal environment to achieve common goals. Managers provide guidance, implementation, and coordination so those organizational goals can be reached.
The modern manager coaches employees of the organization to develop teamwork, which effectively fulfills their needs and achieves organizational objectives. The traditional autocratic organization with its hierarchical system of management and an overbearing 'boss' that forces performance out of people is no longer needed. The modern manager provides an atmosphere of empowerment by letting workers make decisions and inspiring people to boost productivity. The extent to which managers perform the functions of management - planning, organizing, directing, and controlling - varies by level in the management hierarchy. The term supervisor could be applied at all management levels of the organization to those who direct the work of others. In common usage, however, the title tends to be used only in the first level of the management hierarchy.
If an organization were divided into top, middle, and lower managerial levels, the term generally applies to the lower level. Supervisors are managers whose major functions emphasize directing and controlling the work of employees in order to achieve the team goals. They are the only level of management managing non-managers. Thus, most of the supervisor's time is allocated to the functions of directing and controlling.
In contrast, top managers spend most of their time on the functions of planning and organizing. The top manager determines the mission and sets the goals for the organization. His or her primary function is long-range planning. Top management is accountable for the overall management of the organization. Middle management implements top management goals. Supervisors direct the actual work of the organization at the operating level.
Management Levels. Lower or low level managers o supervisors o manage / monitor non-management employees o monitor day to day activities o take corrective action o make operational decisions; predictable decision o tasks: focus on supervising and controlling Effective management requires well developed skills in communication, people management, problem solving and decision making, as well as a sound understanding of organisational aims and objectives.