What is a Manager?

Cite this article as:"What is a Manager?," in The Business Professor, updated March 31, 2020, last accessed October 23, 2020, https://thebusinessprofessor.com/lesson/what-is-a-manager/.

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What is a Manager?

A manager is an individual within an organization who is in charge of coordinating the efforts of individuals or the allocation of resources. As such, a manager is one who undertakes management activities. Below are quotations from Management Scholars concerning the definition of Management:

“Management is the art of knowing what you want to do and then seeing that it is done in the best and cheapest way.” —F. W. Taylor

“To manage is to forecast and to plan, to organize, to command, to co-ordinate and to control.” —Henry Fayol

“Management is a social process of designing & maintaining an environment in which
individuals working together in groups & efficiently accomplish selected aims.” —Harold Koontz & Weihrich

“Management is art of getting things done through other.”  —Mary Parker Follet

The traditional definition of managers limits a manager to someone who oversees the activities of individuals. Simply put, managers oversee the activities of others to achieves objectives.

In the modern workforce, managers may be in charge of systems or specific functions that do not involve human beings. The position of manager originated from the structural view of an organization as a pyramid. This traditional view of management structure derives from the “hierarchical approach”. It envisions managers at each level supervising the activities of workers and managers below them in the pyramid.

While the hierarchical approach continues to dominate the organizational structure, the view of managers has evolved considerably. Modern theories of management see the manager less as controlling the employee-worker and more as supporting and coordinating her efforts.

In this material, we discuss the following aspects of Management:

A manager’s functions are broad categories. A manager may undertake any or all of the identified functions within their various roles. Management skills are the individual abilities necessary to carry out the individual functions within their roles. As such, the required management skills will vary based on the manager’s role.

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