Understanding the Management Role
Understanding the Management Role This assignment is centred on understanding the role of the middle manager in my organisation, and the way in which it works. The organisation in relation to its purpose and its stakeholders My College has a clear purpose for moving forward as an organisation. Our mission is to provide outstanding education and training which is primarily vocational, in response to the needs of learners and employers.
By doing this we are able to fulfil our vision, which is to continue to develop and be recognised as an outstanding educational and economic resource by learners, staff, employers and the wider community. We also feel that we can achieve our mission and vision whilst maintaining the following values; • The College believes that its learners are the most important members of the College and that it is the responsibility of all College staff to help them achieve their full potential the college is also proud of the fact that it is a multi-racial, multi-cultural and socially inclusive College. The college is also opposed to all forms of violent, abusive and discriminatory behaviour, and is proud of the fact that it is an inclusive, learning organisation and believes that all of its members are entitled to respect and parity of esteem. Furthermore, they are entitled to work and study in a welcoming, safe and non-threatening environment • The college value its staff and governors, will help them develop their skills and expertise, and will do its utmost to provide a good working environment.
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I believe that, in order to understand the middle management role, we first are required to recognise the role of the people who manage all or part of the organisation. In addition to its structure, we also need to take into account the functions of the institution. The organisational structure of the college takes the shape of a pyramidal model. This is very much a traditional view, where messages are sent in two different directions. Decisions are passed down formal channels from the principle, to senior management, then directors (middle management), managers and finally departmental staff who deliver the curriculum to learners.
Likewise, it is essential that information is relayed up the channels from teaching staff to management in the opposite direction. The college operates in a way which strives to provide services that people wish to use, and the way in which this can be achieved affectively is by organising the college’s resources. The college, alongside many other businesses, will arrange these resources into different business functions in order to meet the learners’ needs. The main functions are outlined in the appendix (figure1).
The college has a number of functional areas which are the norm for most organisations of this nature. The first function is market research. Our institution has to carry this out in order to determine our learners’ needs in terms of the careers they want and the courses that are required in order to achieve their aspirations. This is carried out using our sales and marketing department. Once they have identified the target group and appropriate courses, they then are required to generate promotion strategies so that the learners are attracted to enrol at the college.
Sales and Marketing also have an important part to play in regards to retention of our customers (learners). This can be achieved through advice on new product development, product improvement, strategies to extend the ‘shelf life’ of our marketing products, and also to make sure that the target markets are consistently being catered to. My organisations finance department have a fundamental responsibility to monitor cash flow, especially within the current economic climate.
This includes recording the colleges income and revenue, and comparing these figures with that of their expenditure for their financial year. In order to keep a record of this, accounts also need to be prepared, so they can generate statistics for monitoring. The finance department will also have links with other functional areas including subject department and non-curriculum areas. This could be in the shape of releasing budgets which are capped at different amounts, which largely depend on the size of the area and the cost of providing their service.
The colleges HR department are responsible for recruitment and retention of staff, writing job descriptions and person Specifications for future employment. They are also on hand to manage the legality of dismissal cases, as well as redundancy processing should it be a requirement of the business. Other important roles and responsibilities include the implementation of health and safety and conditions at work are adhered to, as well as liaising with trade unions over such things as employer contracts, and strikes over issues like pay and pensions.
Research and development is another function which is highly important if my organisation is to continue to provide exactly what the customer (learners) want and need, no matter what changes occur. A prime examples of a method that my organisation uses is through our ‘Learner Voice’ meetings, where we elect enrolled learners from across the college onto a special panel, who then feed back to teaching staff, middle and senior managers on the changes or improvements they would like to see in order to gain the best educational and social experience possible throughout their time with the college.
It is then up to us to manage new product development and improvements in order to continue to possess the competitive advantage over similar organisations. This is yet another function which aims to increase learner enrolments, retention figures, whilst continuing to improve the learner journey. The Production/operations function is the one that concerns itself with the curriculum and the actual teaching element of our service to learners. There’s a Planning output aspect, where course master file are compiled.
This is where managers are required to place courses on an internal system that show the plans for the department for moving forward. The Projections on future output go hand in hand with this, where teaching staff need to monitor success rates and enrolment numbers for putting on more qualifications of the same nature the following academic year. During the calendar, teaching staff are required to gain resources, through the production of schemes of work lesson plans and teaching materials.
This is the preparation tool leading onto production methods, where teaching methods are delivered in order to get the best out of the learners. This can be evident with the quality of assignments that are submitted, subsequently producing qualified individuals for the working world. Customer service in regards to my organisation is more focused around the student services department, who are on hand to handle enquiries like financial worries and applications, educational additional support as well as offering advice and dealing with complaints.
Student services are often the essential link that can mean the difference between a positive learner experience, and a poor one, which is why surveys for after service are also distributed to our customer in order to maintain their high standard of public relations. Lastly, administration and IT is a major function which provides the essential link between all the other functional elements of my organisation, and enables them to work as efficiently as possible. The college, like all other organisations, have a reception, which acts as the irst point of call for all customers and visitors to the institution. Clerical duties in each department also need to be carried out in the form of communication between teaching staff and parents and record keeping of meetings to name but a few. The administration and IT function is also responsible for the use and maintenance of IT systems for the efficient use of accounts and finance, Human resource management and research and development. A stakeholder is anyone with an interest in a business.
Stakeholders are individuals, groups or organisations that are affected by the activity of the business. There are two main types of stakeholder within the college. These are internal and external stakeholders. Internal stakeholders are people who are actual members of the organisation, whereas external stakeholders are those who are not. Our college has a number of different internal stakeholders, including members of teaching and non-teaching staff, managers and even senior management. External stakeholders include the community (learners), the Government and suppliers to the business.
The objectives of the management team are to organise the structure of the college, make decisions on the roles and responsibilities of the staff, plan each academic year in terms of the courses we run, the funding each department has for the courses, and how many learners we can accommodate for on each course. The success of these objectives are fundamental to the future of the college, and how much funding the college is allocated each financial year from the government. The objectives teaching and non-teaching staff is to carry out the duties that have been set by the middle managers.
This can be in the form of providing services to learners through things like library books, IT support and even teaching the learners to be qualified in their respected discipline. The suppliers to the organisation have objectives to make sure they continuously provide quality products in order to ensure customer retention and an overall successful business of their own. The communities’ objectives are to provide the business with many of its staff and learners, and in return, the business can provide goods and services that are vital to the community e. . qualified and skilled individuals that are vital to the local economy. Finally, the governments objectives are to makes sure that our organisation as an educational institute achieve our objectives as a whole college set up, from the staff up through to senior management and the governors. Performing these roles effectively produces results like learner success rates, and in return, wealth and employment, which can only be good for the government.
The government will then provide the college with more funding for the community each year they meet financial and educational targets. The role of management in achieving goals The management role is to meet the demands of performing their functions, by assuming multiple roles. These roles are said to be organised sets of behaviours. It was Henry Mintzberg who identifies ten roles which are seen as common to the work of all managers, these roles were then divided up into three main groups; informational, interpersonal and decisional.
It was pointed out by Mitzberg that these roles can be performed at different times, and also by the same manager. So in conclusion to this theory, all roles can be integrated to form a manager’s role as a whole. There are specific responsibilities of middle managers which enable my organisation to achieve its goals. The easiest method of communicating these responsibilities in regards to the college is through the figure outlined in the appendix (figure 2). The table in figure 3 is a representation of curriculum middle managers responsibilities.
It is also worth noting that this list is non-exhaustive, and that responsibilities do and can go above and beyond these requirements, as and when the business requires. The other sections of the middle management structure are the Assistant Directors (AD’s), who are the direct line management to teaching and non-teaching staff within the college. Their responsibilities operate directly in line with the directors and deputy directors outlined in figure 3. For example, I mentioned that it is the director’s responsibility to plan the divisions continued professional development for each academic year.
However, without the deputy directors identifying the CPD needs of the AD’s, and the AD’s identifying those of the teaching staff, the Director would not be able to carry out his or her role in that respect. The effect of communication and interpersonal relationships on managerial performance Interpersonal relationships and communication skills are to do with the verbal and non-verbal methods that we all use to get a message across to our recipients, whether we are in the workplace or our personal lives. These can either be relayed received in a positive or negative way.
It is true that many of the problems that arise in the workplace are the poor or lack of communication. Interpersonal relationships and communication can have a positive effect on managerial performance in my organisation, where all perceptions of the way face to face contact, facial expressions, tone of voice, gestures and body language are all good in that the message sender and the recipient are at complete harmony in their understanding of each other. This usually leads to good teamwork and a teaching or non teaching department working in unity with one another.
However, the negative effects could be that the way in which these different forms of messages are relayed or even received, are not met with complete understanding. For example, emails sent in the workplace do not always get interpreted in the way in which they are meant, which can lead to colleagues forming certain personal opinions about the sender of the message, and in turn meet the email with a ‘cold’ reply. Likewise, the original sender may form a negative perception of the recipient because of the reply, which in turn begins a cycle of negativity, limiting harmony within the team.
Other negative effects can include decreased team efficiency and ultimately, poor performance, due to departments not working together to achieve a common goal. Barriers to communication can be defined as anything that prevents the understanding of a message. These barriers can take the form of either physical or psychological forms. A popular barrier is that of culture, background and bias, where the meaning of the message we receive is automatically changed by our past experiences.
It is true to say that our past experiences can be positive attributes, as these experiences can often be the difference between making mistakes and making conscious decisions. However, when these decisions change the meaning of the message, it can seriously interfere with the communication process. Perception is another psychological barrier. This could be to do with such things as dismissing colleagues of low status within the college structure, and giving our full attention to those in higher positions. Our perception is probably one of the most significant barriers, as it is often one that we are subconscious to doing.
Even focusing on ourselves, rather than the colleagues you work with, can also affect how you interact with people, in the sense that there can be confusion and conflict. A physical barrier could be noise from things like equipment and the environment can hinder communication between colleagues. For example, an office with a large number of employees using it can often effect how messages are heard. This leads onto other physical barriers like the things we see i. e. unusual objects or extravagant personalities. Messages can also be misinterpreted when people focus on the facts of the message, rather than the idea.
A classic example of this could be when colleagues within my organisation receive emails, and the way the text is interpreted by the recipient is not always the way in which the sender wishes to portray it. In addition, the stress levels of colleagues can also have an impact on communication, as people do not always see things in the same light when in a heightened state of mind. This is where our reactions and immediate decisions whilst stressed are determined by such things as our beliefs, values, knowledge, experiences and goals.
I believe that these physical and psychological barriers will continue to be present in any organisation you work for. I believe it would be advantageous for my college to partake in training of some of the key skills required for effective interpersonal relationships. Figure 4 in the appendices outlines some of the tips for good interpersonal relationship and communication skills. Development opportunities The final part of my understanding of the management role comes from critically assessing my own knowledge, skills, personal attributes and behaviour, discussing their effect on my own managerial ability.
This was carried out using a detailed ‘Insights Preference Evaluator, built around the original ideas of Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung. I was required to answer a series of scenarios that were presented to me, and had to provide the two most plausible answers/solutions to each question that suited me. This produced an Insights Discovery personal profile. The results have uncovered some key strengths and weakness in my managerial ability; Strengths • Interactive and inspirational approach. • Will look for the good in people and events. • Enjoys and seeks variety Excellent communication and presentation skills • Build relationships quickly and effectively • Articulate and active in communication • Trusting and tolerant of others’ actions • Gracious, charming, empathetic and considerate. • Friendly and sociable. • Can be bubbly, effusive and spontaneous. These strengths I believe will be beneficial for me in a number of different situations when working within my organisation. Possible Weaknesses • Finds it difficult to concentrate on the detail for long periods • Procrastinates when required to confront others. May be perceived as being too trusting • Often fails to delegate or delegates too little. • May hold grudges and tell you about them! • May do what is pleasant rather than what is necessary. • May take criticism of his work personally. • His solutions may appear rather “off the wall”. • His outwardly directed energy can be overpowering to some. • May not finish everything he starts. Management style The insights profile also highlighted a number of different characteristics that made up clues to what my management style could be.
It is thought that I may allow people plenty of freedom to make decisions, but often might fail to listen and actively to the views and opinions of others. Another characteristic is that I may have the tendency to light ‘false fires’ in order to divert attention, and also find it difficult to prioritise tasks. Others include being able to inspire teams with grand visions, supporting a friendly participative environment, being passionate about my ideas and surrounding myself with like-minded, open, enthusiastic people.
This is very much an inspirational style, which is also highlighted in my ‘Insights Wheel’. This very accommodating style can be a positive one, in that I could bring inspiration and healthy relationships for good team cohesion. However, possible negatives could include not completing tasks that are seen as boring in order to focus on some of the more enjoyable tasks. My social and sometimes emotional nature could mean that I take confrontation and rejection personally and bitterly, and could also ignore problems instead of finding rational solutions for them.
In terms of my personal style and approach to work, it seems I have many inspiring strengths, however, there are also areas that I believe, need to be addressed if I am to be an even more effective manager. Selections of the key positive and negative statements are as follows; • “One of Daves strengths is an ability to let others work at their own pace, coupled with an awareness of the unique contribution each person makes”. • “Dave displays fierce loyalty to and for people who report to him”. • “If his job requires that he work alone for long periods then he can become restless and unsettled unless the job is really engaging”. “Exhibiting a tendency to become concerned and hurt if his ideas are met with indifference or criticism, he may take conflict and rejection personally”. My strengths indicate that I am a very strong team player, with great leadership skills. However, in order to make that ‘push’ to being a strong manager, it is vital that I attempt to exhibit some characteristics that involve taking professional criticism in a positive way, working on projects until completed, even if they appear boring, and also to make sure that problems are dealt with using plausible solutions for the good of my organisation.
This can be achieved in the following ways as a priority for further development; A Personal Swot is to help me focus on my talents, skills and knowledge, and also to remind me of what areas still need improving. I believe this can be carried out every 6 weeks of the courses that I manage (6 week course reviews). This will help ensure that I’m consistently reviewing my own performance as well as the success of the course I am running PESTLE is all about developing me, by looking at my personal and work life, as well as analysing the impact of the environment on them.
Within my college, I could use the PESTLE model in the following way; • POLITICAL influences on my life (am I learner focused, or numbers orientated for success in order to stay in employment) • ECONOMIC influences on my life (Do I love teaching, or am I in education just for pay increments) • SOCIAL/CULTURAL influences on my life (Do I appreciate and the diverse culture in which I teach) • LEGAL influences in my life (Am I abiding by the laws • ENVIRONMENTAL influences in my life (Should I drive to work or ride my bike through central Birmingham! Feedback from colleagues and managers is something that should be continuous throughout ones career. In my job role, I would expect to be gaining feedback from a number of aspects including lesson observations, from actions carried out and fed back to the team in the following meeting, and also from learners submitting surveys on the effectiveness of services provided by staff. An increase of feedback could be provided through line managers on a weekly basis for the success of hitting department targets.
A training plan is very much related to an appraisal, which is carried out every year. It is my responsibility to highlight my achievements and areas I wish to improve and develop in. This can be achieved through my continued professional development plan for the following academic year. These are all forms of monitoring and reviewing performance, and can all be utilised at different stages in my career. The final development technique could be to develop myself through re learning my core objectives outlined in my contract.
This involves going through all of my key responsibilities and evaluating how effective I am at achieving those, and whether there are any responsibilities I am not carrying out. I believe that these methods will not necessarily create characteristics of other management styles, but instead only improve the style that I am predisposed to… a strong inspiring middle manager. References Internal college systems – groups/smt/structures/sbcmanagementstructure/sbc college structure LT 1. 12. 11 http://www. lmcuk. com/management-tool/mintzberg-s-ten-management-roles http://www. -choose-self-improvement. com/improving-communication-skills. html Brinkman, John Navarro, Ilve Harper, Donna (2010) “Unlocking the Business Environment”. London, GBR. Hodder Education John W. Hunt, Yehuda Baruch, (2003) “Developing top managers: the impact of interpersonal skills training”, Journal of Management Development Vol. 22 Iss: 8, pp. 729 – 752 Laurie J. Mullins, Gill Christy, (2010) “Management & organisational behaviour, 9th ed. Pearson Education. Catherine Richards, Rob Dransfield, John Goymer, John Bevan (2010). BTEC Level 3 National Business, Book 1. Pearson Education Limited [pic]