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The Nature of Management Work



The nature of managerial work, roles, politics and ethics

Managerial work encompasses many things. Anyone involved in the management of others will face issues when dealing with people such as performance management, conflict management, meeting training needs, people resourcing. The nature of managerial work will change on a day to day basis from routine tasks to a complete change of operational direction, and the Manager is expected to respond to the changes in a positive and efficient manner, therefore facilitating the changes needed from the people he or she manages with as little upheaval as possible


A manager must be mindful at all times of ethical issues relating to the people they manage, and any decisions that are made.


The way that managers operate on a day to day basis

Managers operate in many ways on a day to day basis. Different tasks they face will need a different approach each time. A manager that lends them self to only one type of leadership style all the time (e.g. Authoritarian) will find problems at times when this style is not appropriate. Managers that can adapt themselves and assess each time which approach will achieve the best result (e.g. situational) will often find they achieve a more long term positive effect on their subordinates.


Different styles that should be used by a manager will depend on the type of team, the individual characters of the people in the team, what the goal of the team is and the environment in which they are working. Management theory suggests that in the long term, a team will respond well to Participative leadership, creating buy-in from all and allowing team members to develop ideas and blossom under encouragement and positive mentoring. Combine a participative leadership with a little transformational leadership then the manager will take the team on the journey with them and share their vision and goals with all to achieve the desired result


The impact that managers have on others

The way that a manager leads their team will have a great impact on others. Team members can respond well to being including in planning, being allowed to present their ideas, being given responsibility and being allowed to develop.

The team members can respond in a less positive way to being told what to do, being given ultimatums and threatened with disciplinary, and not being included in planning so they have no buy-in to what the ultimate goal is. Managers must be mindful of the approach they take with each of their team members, as each person will respond differently to them.


A manager must always be fair, consistent, approachable and above reproach when dealing with team members. Failure to act in any of these ways may lead to dissention within the team, poor results, missed deadlines, increased absenteeism and grievance complaints.


The distinctive concepts of managing and leading

Manager’s daily tasks such as scheduling, holding meetings, producing reports, resourcing, budgeting, delegating, disciplining etc are ‘Management’ components of their role. The way that a manager becomes a Leader is when the manager begins to develop others, doing such things as motivating, energising, sharing their vision, including others in their goal making, praising and becoming an inspiration for their subordinates.

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