Essay on HR0896 What is a manager

Submitted By Tonje-Myhrvold
Words: 1600
Pages: 7

HR0896 Developing Self
Week Five
What is a manager?

Session objectives


To discuss perceptions of successful managers (including those operating in an international context) and their personal and interpersonal competencies
To explore and critique different theories and concepts of management and the development of management competency frameworks
To discuss management competencies in the context of your own personal development
To identify your own strengths and weaknesses against a management competence checklist

Being a manager?
“Managerial work is about life itself; in a sense , managerial work is the essence of human activity”
(Mintzberg, 2004, p.207) but "Management is out of date … like the combustion engine,
[management is] a technology that has largely stopped evolving, and that's not good” (Hamel, 2007, p.7, “The Future of


Activity: Successful managers?
1. Write down five managers, known to you (or that you have read about - eg. through the media, in politics, in business), that you would consider to be a successful manager

2. What characteristics do these individuals have that makes then successful as a manager?
3. Make a visual representation (ie. draw a picture) of what makes an effective, successful manager
• Try to be creative in using imagery to convey the character, traits, behaviours etc. that you believe contributes to a manager’s successful performance

4. In groups of 2-3. share your images of managers and explain the differences between these images
5. Agree a single sentence (max 25 words) which defines a successful manager

Fundamental questions …
• What are managers required to do?
• How do managers need to behave?
• What competencies or qualities do they need to do what are they required to do?

What do managers do? - defining management
… planning, organising, directing and controlling organisational resources in the pursuit of organisational goals (Fayol 1949)
… planning, organising, leading and controlling an organisation’s human, financial, material and other resources to increase its effectiveness (George
& Jones, 2012, p35)
Finding out what managers do is not the problem; interpreting it is. How do we make sense of the vast array of activities …? (Mintzberg 2009, p1)
“You make me feel so good! While I thought that all those other managers were planning, organising, coordinating and controlling, I was constantly being interrupted, jumping from one issue to another, and trying to keep the lid on the chaos” (cited in Mintzberg 2009, p17) What do managers do? -1
In the late C19 Henri Fayol identified 6 elements of the manager’s role (what managers do):
1) Forecast
2) Plan
3) Organise
4) Command

5) Co-ordinate
6) Control
But in reality (in your experience) … what do managers actually do?

Fragmentation of Managers work
Large scale, formal research in the late C20 revealed that managers:

handled diverse issues

dealt constantly with people

did not always control their work

were expected to cope with events as they occur

needed to respond to their superiors

often worked in conditions of ambiguity

worked with and resolved (sometimes) complex, systemic problems •

were subject to constant interruptions

In the C21 these tends seem to have accelerated ….


Why managers do what they do: the evolution of approaches to management
Management Theory

Pre-classical contributors Classical







Human Relations