Human Resources Management
The Different Levels of Managers in an Organisation

It is acknowledged that in large organizations, there may have different levels of managers, including top managers, middle managers and first-line managers. The roles of these managers may be different. Depending on the level at which the manager is operating at, his role in the organization may differ.

Top (or executive) managers are responsible for overseeing the whole organization and typically engage in more strategic and conceptual matters, with less attention to day-to-day detail. Top managers have middle managers working for them and who are in charge of a major function or department. Top-level managers make decisions affecting the entirety of the firm. Usually they set goals for the organization and direct the company to achieve them. Top managers are ultimately responsible for the performance of the organization, and often, these managers have very visible jobs.

Middle-level managers, or middle managers, are those in the levels below top managers. Middle managers’ job titles include: General Manager, Plant manager, Regional manager, and Divisional manager. Middle-level managers are responsible for carrying out the goals set by top management. They do so by setting goals for their departments and other business units. Middle managers can motivate and assist first-line managers to achieve business objectives. Middle managers may also communicate upward, by offering suggestions and feedback to top managers. Because middle managers are more involved in the day-to-day workings of a company, they may provide valuable information to top managers to help improve the organization’s bottom line. Jobs in middle management vary widely in terms of responsibility and salary. Depending on the size of the company and the number of middle-level managers in the firm, middle managers may supervise only a small group of employees, or they may manage very large groups, such as an entire business location.
First-level managers are also called first-line managers or supervisors. These managers have job titles such as: Office manager, Shift supervisor, Department manager, Foreperson, Crew leader, Store manager. First-line managers are responsible for the daily management of line workers—the employees who actually produce the product or offer the service. There are first-line managers in every work unit in the organization. Although first-level managers typically do not set goals for the organization, they have a very strong influence on the company. These are the managers that most employees interact with on a daily basis, and if the managers perform poorly, employees may also perform poorly, may lack motivation, or may leave the company.

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