Life and Lessons for and by next CEOs

Academia, Fandamentals Of Management

Levels of Management

Key Characteristics

Top Level Management:

  • Long term Strategy planning
    • Spans three to ten years, and primarily focuses on scope level of the entire organization and will orientated towards the future. Strategic planning should be a broad guideline without specific detail which also aids in the deployment of resources.
    • Delegation of authority to middle management.
  • Develop company Vision and Mission
    • The Vision of the organisation provides direction and scope of where the organisation is headed and what the organisation will become.
    • The Mission of the organisation defines some of the details in how the organisation will achieve the vision, in terms of product, service market and technology. The mission statement answers three main questions. What is the organisations business? Who are the organisations customers? How does the organisations provide service or product.
  • Develop organisation goals, policies and strategies
    • These goals are based on the mission of the organization, strategic goals include the organisation vision and mission and long term strategic goals.
    • Long term strategic goals usually include areas such as profitability, productivity, competitive position, human-resource development, human relations, technological leadership and social responsibility.

Middle Level Management

  • Medium- and long term functional and tactical planning for:
    • Marketing; product line, market position, distribution channels, marketing communications, pricing
    • Finance; policies of debtors, dividends, asset management, capital structures
    • Production and Operation; productivity, Location, Legislation
    • Human Resources; labour relations, staff turnover, training, equity consideration
    • Purchasing; suppliers, creditor policies, sources of material
  • Coordination of employee activities
    • Includes the allocating resources to first-line management positions, training of first-line managers
    • Manage group performance, and delegation of authority to first-line managers
    • Develop the next line of employees to ensure open lines of communication
    • Nurturing and Matching core capabilities
  • Executes top management directives
    • Execution of policies plans and strategies as defined by top management
    • Develop tactical departmental goals based on the general strategies of top management
  • Communicates with top management
    • Articulating emergent strategic issues
    • Reporting on departmental performance.

First-Line Management

  • Responsible for production of good or delivery of services
    • Should be technical experts and supervise finer details of operations.
  • Short term operational planning
    • Responsible for developing operational goals based on functional and tactical goals developed by middle management
  • Smaller segment of responsibility
    • Responsible for the day to day performance, resources, resource allocation, tasks and employee training of their respective segments
    • Budgeting of the respective segment is regarded as the main method of management on this level.
  • Different Types of first-line managers:
    • Functional managers, targeted at specialized functions within the organization
    • General managers, manage a general group or department


Categories of Skills

  • The three categories of skill required by management are as follows:
    • Conceptual Skills; analysis and diagnostics skills to identify and interpret problems in abstract and complex situations. Rational thinking to help solve issues and making decisions based on these.
    • Interpersonal/Human/Communication Skills; ability to communicate and work well with people.
    • Technical Skills; specialized knowledge, expertise and proficiency in a specific field. Either via formal education build developed from experience in the field.
  • These skills have different levels of application in the three different levels of management as follows:
    • Top Management;
      • Conceptual (45%),
      • Interpersonal (45%),
      • Technical (10%)
    • Middle Management;
      • Conceptual (25%),
      • Interpersonal (40%),
      • Technical (35%)
    • First-line Management;
      • Conceptual (20%),
      • Interpersonal (30%),
      • Technical (50%)


Categories of roles

  • Mintzberg’s Managerial Roles and their categories of management roles can be detailed as follows:
    • Interpersonal Roles;
      • Figurehead – social and legal duties, perform as the symbolic leader. E.g.:
        • Great visitors, Attend functions and ceremonies, host receptions, etc.
      • Leader – Leading and motivating staff, Training of employees, performance managing. E.g.:
        • Planning Training Modules
        • Communicating to Employees
        • According to MAW almost all interaction with subordinates
      • Liaison – Establishes and maintains all stakeholders in and outside of the organisation that form part of the organizational network. E.g.:
        • Business correspondence,
        • Meetings with representatives and other departments in the organisation.
    • Informational;
      • Monitor – Seeks and receives information to aid in better decision making. E.g.:
        • Reads related trade press, periodicals, and reports.
        • Attends seminars and Training
        • Maintains personal contacts
      • Disseminator – Disseminates all relevant an important information to stakeholders within the organisation. E.g.:
        • Sends memos and reports
        • Informs staff and subordinates of decisions that might affect then,
      • Spokesperson – Transmits information from within the organisation, to stakeholders outside of the organisation. E.g.:
        • Sends memos and reports
        • Develops and sends out press releases
        • Attends press conferences
        • Reports on organisation progress
    • Decisional;
      • Entrepreneur – Identify new ideas and products, initiate improvements to existing products and services. Finds new opportunities. E.g.:
        • Implements innovations
        • Searches for change, responds to it and exploits it.
      • Disturbance Handler – Implements corrective action when the organisation faces disturbance, disputes and problems. E.g.:
        • Settles conflicts between subordinates
        • Overcomes crisis situations
      • Resource Allocator – Decides where to apply resources. E.g.:
        • Drafts or approves plans, schedules and budgets related to resources
      • Negotiator – Defends business interests and represents the organisation at negotiations.
        • Leads deals and contract negotiations with stakeholders

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