Managers may fill at various times a number of specific roles. Some of us are already familiar with some of the crucial roles played by managers. You as a manager is required because, you are already a veteran of many different relationships that have evolved over your life far. In your ties with your family, friends, classmates, and co-workers, sometimes you lead, sometimes you act as a go-between or liaison, and sometimes others look to you as a symbol of some worthwhile trait such as honesty or willingness to work hard. In these same relationships, you monitor what is going on outside the relationship share information with your partners, and even act as a spokesperson for them. Furthermore, you sometimes take the initiative, sometimes handle disagreements, sometimes allocate resources such as money, and sometimes negotiate with your collaborators.
The manager’s agenda as consisting of precisely the ten activities discussed above. The first three as interpersonal roles of a manager, the next three as informational roles, and the final four decisional roles. We can identify several of these roles in our case about Natalie Anderson. For example, we find her acting as:
1. Monitor (informational roles); checking with Seth about market projections, and
2. Negotiator (decisional role), debating with Glenn about the book’s various media.
Increasingly today’s organizations are seeing that many managerial roles need not be confined to traditional managers. As the organizational environment becomes increasingly competitive, companies are looking for ways to improve quality. Often this means people who once had very narrow non-managerial roles are asked to expand their range of activities. At Stone construction Equipment, Inc., Stan Gerhart makes cowls – metal engine covers of light machinery. At one time, his workday involved just one job: he cranked out cowls and put them on the shelf all day then punched out and went home. New management at Stone asked Gerhart to redesign his job from the ground up and to run his one man department as its own small business within a small business. His job required him to deal with is own suppliers and customers elsewhere in the shop. Gerhart has been free to implement many time saving and quality building ideas he has developed. He says, ‘It makes my job a whole lot easier because I control my own destiny’.
A key point about the role of managers is that they must be very versatile when it comes to dealing with human relationships. You already know that about your own relationships, no doubt! The spoliation that we call management practice builds upon the versatility that we have just described.
Innovative Developments in small Businesses:
Versatility is clearly an asset in small businesses. When both managers and employees can expand their roles, companies benefit. And sometimes smaller businesses can implement changes faster than larger ones. Many small businesses have developed interesting and unique management practices that larger companies can learn from.
1. At W L Gore & Associates Inc., the Gore Tex fabric producer based in Newark, Delaware management reorganized the company by abolishing titles and management levels, giving employees unprecedented leeway in defining their own jobs.
2. Quad/Graphics Inc., a fast growing printing company with headquarters in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, has a long list of training courses for employees, an on-site sports center and a stock ownership program. In structuring its operations, Quad set up each press as an autonomous profit center responsible for its own operations.
3. Prime technology a machine distributor in Grand Rapids, Michigan with 30 people on the payroll has based management generous bonus programs and an open book policy of sharing business operations information with employees.
4. At both Phelps County Bank in Rolla, Missouri, and Intuit Software in Palo Alto, California, employees are encouraged to search out new ways of improving operations meaning that no one need be limited by the boundaries of the job. Work at both places provides an opportunity for employees to develop the versatility of management practices that workers need in today’s challenging work.