Managers and Management

Managers work in organizations. Therefore, before we identify who managers are and what they do, we must clarify what we mean by the term organization.

What three Common Characteristics do all Organizations share?

Every organization has a purpose and is made up of people who are grouped in some fashion. The distinct purpose of an organization is typically expressed in terms of a goal or set of goals. For Chairman of Apollo Group of Hospitals this means making health care in India available, accessible and affordable to every individual, no matter wherever he or she. Second, no purposes or goal can be achieved without people making decisions to establish the purpose and performing a variety of activities to make the goal a reality. Third, all organizations develop a systematic structure that defines and limits the behavior of its members.

How are managers different for operative Employees?

Operative Employees>

People who look work directly on a job or task and have no responsibility for overseeing the work of others.


Individuals in an organization who direct the activities of others.

Managers work in organizations, but not everyone who works in an organization is a manger. For simplicity’s sake we can divide organizational members into two categories: operatives and managers. Operatives are people who work directly on a job or task and have no responsibility for overseeing the work of others. The clerks at railway reservation counters, the cashiers at your local kirana shop, or the administration officers who process your course registrations in your institute are all operatives. In contrast, managers direct the activities of other people in the organization. Customarily classified as top, middle, or first line managers, these individuals supervise both operative employees and lower level managers. This distinction does not mean, however, that managers don’t work directly on tasks. Some managers also have operative responsibilities themselves. For example, regional sales mangers for Motorola also have basic responsibilities of servicing some accounts, in addition to overseeing the activities of the other sales associates in their territories. The distinction, then, between the two groups operatives and managers is that managers have employees who report directly to them.

What Titles do managers have in organizations?

First line managers>

Supervisors responsible for directing the day to day activities of operative employees

Middle managers>

Individuals at levels of management between the first line manager and top management

Identifying exactly who managers are in an organization is often not a difficult task, although you should be aware that management positions come with a variety of titles. First line managers are usually called supervisors. They may also be called team leaders, coaches, or unit coordinators. They are responsible for directing the day to day activities of operative employees. In your college, for example the department chair would be a first line supervisor overseeing the activities of the departmental faculty (the operatives), Middle managers represent levels of management between the first line managers (the supervisor) and top management. These individuals manage other managers and possibly some operative employees and are typically responsible for translating the goals set by to management into specific details that lower level managers can perform. In organizations middle managers may have such titles as department or agency head, project leader, unit head, district manager, Dean, Bishop, or Division managers.

At or near the top of an organization are top managers. These individuals are responsible for making decisions about the direction of the organization and establishing policies that affect all organizational members. Top managers typically have titles such as Vice president, President, Chancellor, Managing Director, Chief Operating officer, Chief Executive officer, or Chairperson of the board.