Managing and managing people
Managing and managing people

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Managing and managing people

4.2 The ‘job description’ approach

One way of gaining a clearer picture of what you do as a manager would be to list all your activities in a giant job description. An example is set out below. The list does not describe the job of an actual manager but sets out typical managerial activities.

Table 1 The ‘job description’ approach

The manager’s job
Makes forecastsMonitors progress
Makes analysesExercises control
Thinks creatively/logicallyDetermines information needs
Calculates and weighs risksEstablishes/uses management information systems
Makes sound decisionsManages his or her time
Determines goalsCopes with stress
Sets prioritiesAdjusts to change
Prepares plansDevelops his or her skills and knowledge
Schedules activities
Establishes control systems
Sets/agrees budgets
The manager and his or her team
Builds and maintains his or her teamMakes presentations
Selects staffConducts meetings
Sets performance standardsWrites reports and correspondence
Raises productivityInterviews
Motivates peopleCounsels and advises
Arranges incentivesIdentifies organisational problems
Designs jobsCreates conditions for change
Improves the quality of working lifeImplements/manages/copes with change
Monitors and appraises performanceDesigns new organisation/team structures
Harmonises conflicting objectivesEstablishes reporting lines
Handles conflictDevelops internal communication systems
LeadsTakes account of environmental factors affecting the organisation (economic, environmental, technological, social, political)
Adopts appropriate management styles
Communicates effectively

Listing and grouping a manager’s activities goes a little way towards making some sense out of the complexities of managerial work, but it does not offer any explanations. Another difficulty is that many other jobs have many of these components. Nurses, sales staff, engineers, chefs and cooks, and office workers, for example, often carry out some of these activities.


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