We tend to think about managers based on their position in an organization. This tells us a bit about their role and the nature of their responsibilities. The following figure summarizes the historic and contemporary views of organizations with respect to managerial roles.
In contrast to the traditional, hierarchical relationship among layers of management and managers and employees, in the contemporary view, top managers support and serve other managers and employees (through a process called empowerment), just as the organization ultimately exists to serve its customers and clients.
Managers are responsible for getting work done through others. We typicaly describe the key managerial functions as planning, organizing, leading, and controling. The definitions for each of these have evolved over time, just as the nature of managing in general has evolved over time.
This evolution is best seen in the gradual transition from the traditional hierarchical relationship between managers and employees, to a climate characterized better as an upside-down pyramid, where top executives support middle managers and they, in turn, support the employees who innovate and fulfil the needs of customers and clients.
Through al four managerial functions, the work of managers ranges across ten roles, from figurehead to negotiator. While actual managerial work can seem chal enging, the skil s you gain through principles of management—consisting of the functions of planning, organizing, leading, and controling— wil help you to meet these chalenges.
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