The Exceptional Manager Assignment

The Exceptional Manager Assignment

Critical thinking 1: Principles of Management
Reference: MGT490-Book-Chapter No-01 (The Exceptional Manager)
This chapter has introduced you to how Henry Mintzberg changed the perception of a manger\’s role by studying how they spent their working day and classifying managerial activities into decisional, interpersonal and informational roles. This gave a new insight into the activities involved in being a manager but did not distinguish between the things that people called ‘manager’ do that contribute to the management of the organisation (such as coordination and control) from the things they do that everyone in an organisation does (such as talking to other people). In this context, the earlier contribution of Fayol in outlining the main purposes of management is considered to still be of relevance, although it provides limited understanding of how managerial jobs are affected by the environment in which managers work.

The Exceptional Manager Assignment


This paper examines the perception of managers’ role by studying how they typically spend their working day and categorizing managerial activities into three leading roles: decision, interpersonal, and information roles. The objective is to offer new insights into the activities involved in the management process by planning, controlling, leading, and organizing. Specifically, the essay analyzes the motives for studying the activities performed by managers and the purposes of these activities to gain an in-depth understanding of what managers do. Also, the variation of the manager’s role is discussed based on the dynamic and ever-changing organizational environment and across the four management levels. Next, the potential significance of studying how modern managers spend their work time and allocation of their work time between diverse activities is presented. Furthermore, the differences between successful and effective managers with regards to how spending their time were discussed. The final section is a comprehensive discussion of the good manager and the biggest challenges faced by good managers in the modern workplace.

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1. To understand what managers do, explain how it is necessary to study both the activities performed by managers and the purposes of their activity.

Management can be defined as the pursuance of goals set by organizational in an efficient and effective manner through the integration of the activities of the people in planning, controlling, organizing, and leading corporate resources (Kinicki & Williams, 2020). It is important to study the activities performed by managers as well as the purposes of their activity to gain an in-depth understanding of what managers do. First, one gains an understanding of how to interact with organizations from the perspective of external stakeholders, such as customers and investors. The acquired knowledge and defensive skills are applied when dealing with organizations since one has a better understanding of how they work and how people in them engage in decision making.  Secondly, one develops an understanding of how to relate to the supervisors and line managers when working in organizations. Studying the managers’ activities enables one to understand the varied pressures managers face and their best responses.

Furthermore, management policies have an impact on the behavior of co-workers. Studying management gives one a better understanding of teamwork, stress management, resolution of conflict, cultural differences, interpersonal skills, negotiation skills, as well as communication skills to aid in understanding interactions with fellow employees. Studying management presents an opportunity for the realization of insights about oneself—personality, needs, goals, emotions, perceptions, and values.  One builds skills about self-management at the workplace in critical areas like self-management, managing change, listening, stress management, avoidance of groupthink, and handling corporate politics. Lastly, one applies the acquired knowledge in management practice. Management practitioners offer a wide range of rewards such as a sense of accomplishment, building a portfolio of successful products, expansion of abilities, as well as coaching and mentorship.

2. As well as variation across the levels of management (first-tier, middle and top), how would you expect the manager’s role to vary with the extent to which the organisational environment is changing, such as through new technology, changes in market demand or new forms of competition?

There are four managerial levels within organizations: first-line, top, and middle managers, as well as the team leaders. The top managers engage in making long-term decisions; middle managers are involved in implementing these decisions, while the first-line managers focus on short-term decision making. The team leaders expedite team activities towards the achievement of goals. Besides, the managers’ role varies as there can be general managers who are in charge of several organizational activities or functional managers who are responsible for a specific activity in the organization such as finance, IT, research and development, operations, human resources, procurement, and marketing. The managers vary since they work for either for-profit entities, non-profit organizations, or mutual-benefit organizations. The effective management of change is critical to all organizations to endure and thrive in the highly competitive, and dynamic environment. In this environment, change can be used to sustain a competitive position in global markets as organizations continuously struggle to change and align their operations in a highly competitive environment (Çeti̇nkaya et al. 2019). Besides, the rapid globalization has led to unique ways due to the vastly changing landscape of the demographical, technological, psychological, and social environment.

Furthermore, managers can face seven main challenges. They include variations in the management for competitive advantage, diversity and inclusion, globalization, technological advancements, ethical standards, corporate sustainability, as well as accomplishment of personal life and happiness goals (Kinicki & Williams, 2020). Due to the seven challenges, the roles of managers vary in achieving a balance between two states action and serenity versus boredom and anxiety. For instance, when managing for competitive advantage involves a manager enhancing the organization’s ability to engage in more effective production than its competition; thus, outperforming its rivals. Consequently, organizations should stay ahead by being increasingly responsive to their customers, innovations, higher quality, and greater efficiency. Finally, the challenge of managing varies due to fluctuations in information technology affecting the business. They include the Internet, e-communication, big data, workforce automation, as well as shifts in organizational structure, goals, jobs, and knowledge management.

3. What is the potential importance of studying how managers like to spend their work time as well as how they actually allocate their work time between different activities?

4. Explain how it is possible that there might be a difference between successful and effective managers in terms of how each type of manager tends to spend their time.

5. It has been argued that it is well known what managers should do to be a good manager. Explain this assessment and discuss what you think are the biggest challenges to being a good manager.

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