We have been using the term ‘manager’ it mean anyone who is responsible for carrying out the four main activities of management in relationships over time. One way to grasp the complexity of management is to see that managers can practice at different levels in an organization and with different ranges of organizational activities. After looking at the level and scope of various kinds of managers we will go on to see how different skills and roles are emphasized in different types of management.
First line managers: The lowest level in an organization at which individuals are responsible for the work of others is called first line or first level management. First line managers direct non-management employees; they do to supervise other managers. Examples of first line managers are the foreman or production supervisor in a manufacturing plant, the technical supervisor in a research department, and the clerical supervisor in a large office. First level managers are often called supervisors. A school principal is also a first level manager, as is the manager of a major league baseball team.
Middle Managers: The term middle management can include more than one level in an organization Middle managers direct the activities of lower level managers and sometimes those of operating employees as well. Middle managers’ responsibilities are to direct the activities that implement their organizations policies and to balance the demands of their managers with the capacities of their employers.
Top Managers: Composed of a comparatively small group of people, top management is responsible for the overall management of an organization. These people are called executives. They establish operating policies and guide the organization’s interactions with its environment. Typical titles of top managers are Chief Executive Officer, President and Vice president.
Functional and General Managers:
Another major classification of managers depends on the scope of activities they manage. Organizations are often described as a set of functions. A function, in this sense, is a collection of similar activities. The marketing function, for example commonly consists of sales, promotion, distribution and market research activities. At Coca Cola, the marketing function is responsible for TV ads and the research and development function is responsible for Coke’s special formula. On college campuses, the athletic department is a function because the activities of its members differ from what, say, the members of the philosophy department do.
Functional Managers; The functional manager is responsible for only one functional area, such as production marketing or finance.
General Managers: The General Managers, on the other hand oversee a complex unit, such as a company, a subsidiary or an independent operating division. He or she is responsible for all the activities of that unit, such as its production, marketing and finance. A small company may have only one general manager — its president or executive vice president – but large organizations may have several each heading a relatively independent division. In a large food company, for example, there may be a grocery products division, a refrigerated-product division, and a frozen food products division, with a different general manager responsible for each. Like the chief executive of a small company each of these divisional heads is responsible for all the activities of the unit. In some special cases authorized by top management even if one doesn’t have the designation they perform the tasks of general managers as they may oversee and links several different functions.
It is important to remember that functional and general managers alike plan, organize, lead, and control relationships over time. The difference again is in the scope of activities that they oversee.