Despite management is a broad term, writers usually says about process when defining management. Henri Fayol defined management process in terms of five management functions: plan, organize, command, coordinate and control. These days, the functions are condensed as Schermerhorn & Corporation, (2009, p.56) says “The process of management involves planning, organizing, leading and controlling the use of resources to accomplish performance goals.” It is also important to note the use of effectiveness and efficiency words when understanding management. They deal with what we are doing and how we are doing it. And last not least, management is a process that works through and with people (Robbins, DeCenzo, Coulter & Woods 2012).
Managers are able to do any of those four aforementioned functions (plan, organize, lead and control) in all fields and industries. During a carefully study of five chief executives at work, Henry Mintzberg (1973) provided a categorization scheme for defining what managers do on the basis of actual managers on the job – Mintzberg’s managerial roles. He affirms that managers perform ten different but highly interrelated roles grouped under three primary headings: Interpersonal, Informational and Decisional roles. Interpersonal roles consist in figurehead, leader and liaison; informational roles are monitor, disseminator and spokesperson; decisional roles are entrepreneur, disturbance handler, resource allocator and negotiator.
The responsibility given to a manager varies according to his title. Top managers are responsible for making decisions about the direction of the organisation and establishing policies that affect all organisational members. Middle managers are responsible for translating the goals set by top management into specific details. First-line managers are responsible for directing the day-to-day activities of non-managerial employees.
A manager needs to have some important characteristics to perform effectively. There seems to be overall agreement that effective managers must be proficient in four general skill areas. His conceptual skills are needed to analyze and diagnose complex situations. He needs to have some interpersonal skills for working well with other people both individually and in groups. His technical skills are the job-specific knowledge and techniques needed to perform work tasks. And last, a manager needs to build a power base and establish the right connections – political skills. (Robbins & Decenzo 2005)
In addition to recognizing that all managers – regardless of level, organization size, profit or not-for-profit enterprise - perform the four basic activities of management, these skills should help them to meet some challenges, like controlling the organization’s environment and its resources; organizing and coordinating; handling information; providing for growth and development; motivating employees and handling conflicts; strategic problem solving.
Among their skills, managers can improve their leadership. Leadership has been defined in many different ways by many different people. Nevertheless, the central theme running through most of the definitions is that leadership is a process of influencing individual or group activities toward goal setting and goal achievement. Mosley, Pietri & Megginson (1996) explain that as a leader, you work to ensure balance among the goals of the organization, your own goals, and those of the group. In the