Levels of Management
Business organizations are characterized by the presence of a chain of command- the chain of superiors and subordinates from the highest level in the organization to the lowest. For example, at the top level there is the chief executive. Below him are the departmental heads. Below the departmental head are managers, who again have their subordinates, and so on. The chain consists of a series of managerial- positions also known as management hierarchy. This series of management in the chain of command determines the amount of authority and status enjoyed by any managerial position. The levels of management can be classified into three broad categories.
(1) top level management,
(2) middle level management, and
(3) supervisory level or operating management.
(1) Top management: Top management consists of managers at the highest level in the management hierarchy. This level consists of the Board of Directors, Chief Executive and the departmental heads. The activities of these level centers of this level centers round establishing overall, long- term goals and ways of attaining these. Top management is also concerned with maintaining liaison with the outside world. For example, with government, trade unions, etc., laying down overall policies, and providing direction and leadership to the organization as a whole. It is held responsible for the general success or failure fo the organization.
Functions of Top management the top management generally perform the following functions: (i) Setting gout general objectives and policies of the business. (ii) Laying down guidelines for the departmental heads, i.e., policies as to production, marketing, finance, personnel public relations, etc. (iii) Organizing the business into various sections and departments for the efficient accomplishment of enterprise goals. (iv) Making appointments to top positions in the company organization, suck- as the managing director, general manager, secretary, departmental heads, etc. (v) Reviewing the work of executives at different levels and ensuring that their performance is according to the pre- determined plans.
(2) Middle Management: this level consists of departmental managers. The main function performed by this level of managers consists of linking the top and supervisory level of management. They transmit orders, suggestions upwards. Besides, this level explains and interprets the policy decisions made at the top level to the lower levels. They issue detailed instructions to lower levels of management and coordinate the activities of various units and divisions within the same department. Their involve taking departmental decisions and inspiring lower level managers towards better performance.
Functions of Management:
(i) To run the details of the organization leaving the top officers as free as possible of their other responsibilities.
(ii) To co-operate in making a smoothly functioning organization.
(iii) To understand the interlocking of departments in major policies.
(iv) To achieve the co-ordination between the different parts of the organization.
(v) To build up a contented and efficient staff where reward is given according to capacity and merit and not according to change or length of service.
(vi) To develop leaders for the future by broad training and experience. (vii) To build up a company spirit where all are working to provide a product or service wanted by others.
(3) Supervisory / Operative Management: The lowest level of management consists of first line supervisors. They generally have such designations as superintendent, section officer, supervisor, foreman, etc. they are directly in touch with the workers, clerks, salesmen, etc. This level is entrusted with the task of getting work done by operatives or workers who actually do the work. The lowest level of management is directly concerned with the operative jobs and management of workers. There are no managers below this level. Managers at theist level supervise the work of operatives to ensure that it is of required quality and is completed on time. They assign jobs and tasks to subordinates, arrange machinery and tools, etc. they also assist and advise the workers by explaining work procedures, and report the problems faced and suggestions made by workers to the middle level management. These managers are also responsible for planning day to day production within the framework provided by higher levels.
Functions of Supervisors Management the various functions of a supervisor may be enumerated as below: (I) to issue orders and instructions to the workers and supervise and control their functioning. (ii) To plan the activities of his section, classifying and assigning jobs to the workers. (iii) To direct and guide the workers about work procedure. (iv) To arrange for the necessary equipment, materials, tools, etc. for the, workers. (v) To provide on- the- job training to the workers. (vi) to look after the proper maintenance of the tools, machinery, etc. (vii) to solve the problems of the workers. (viii) To communicate the problems of workers, which are not solved at his level? (ix) To advise middle management about working environment. (x) To maintain discipline among the workers, and develop in them the right approach for work.