Manager’s Job – Why?

A manger’s job should be based on a task to be performed in order to attain the company’s objectives. It should always be a real job – one that makes it visible and if possible clearly measurable contribution to the success of the enterprise. It should have the broadest rather than the narrowest scope and authority; everything not expressly excluded should be deemed to be within the manager’s authority. Finally, the manager should be directed and controlled by the objectives of performance rather than by his boss.

What managerial jobs are needed and what each of them is should always be determined by the activities that have to be performed the contributions that have to be made to attain the company’s objectives. A manager’s job exists because the task facing the enterprise demands its existence and for no other reason. It has its own necessity; it must therefore have its own authority and its own responsibility.

It should always be a job of managerial proportions. Since a manager is someone who takes responsibility for, and contributes to, the final results of the enterprise, the job must have sufficient scope. It should always embody the maximum challenge carry the maximum responsibility and make the maximum contribution. And that contribution should be visible and measurable. The manager should be able to point at the final results of the entire business and say: This part is my contribution.

There are some tasks which are too big for one man and which can still not be cut up into a number of integrated, finite jobs. These should be organized as team tasks.

Outside of business, team organization is widely recognized. Almost any scientific paper, for instance, bears the names of three or four men. Every one of the four – the biochemist, the physiologist, the pediatrician and the surgeon does a specific kind of work. Yet though each contributes only his own skill, each is responsible for the entire job. There is of course, always a leader to the team; but though his authority is great, it is guidance rather than supervision or command. It derives from knowledge rather than from rank.

In business, teams are used a good deal more than the literature indicates. They are regularly employed for short term assignments in every large company. They are common in research work. Team organization, rather than the hierarchy of rank shown on the organization chart, is the reality in the well run manufacturing plant especially in respect to the relationship between the plant manager and the heads of the technical functions reporting to him. Many tasks in process manufacturing or in mass production new style can only be done if organized on a team basis.

But the most important team task in any business is the top management task. In scope, as well as in its requirements of skills, temperaments and kinds of work it exceeds any one man’s capacity. No matter what the textbooks and the organization charts say well managed companies do not have a one-man “chief executive.” They have an executive team.

It is therefore of genuine importance that management understand what team organization is, when to use it and how. Above all, it is important that management realize that in any real team each member has a clearly assigned and clearly defined role. A team is not just chaos made into a virtue. Teamwork requires actually more internal organization, more co-operation and greater definiteness of individual assignments than work organized in individual jobs.