General Management

General Management

By the end of this lesson, you are expected to:
– understand what management is
– learn the most relevant skills required to be a manager
– be able to identify the different types of managers

What is management

Management is a universal phenomenon. It is a very popular and widely used term. All organizations – business, political, cultural or social are involved in management because it is the management which helps and directs the various efforts towards a definite purpose.

According to Harold Koontz, “Management is an art of getting things done through and with the people in formally organised groups. It is an art of creating an environment in which people can perform and individuals can co-operate towards attainment of group goals”.


Management’s purpose is the attainment of organizational goals and objectives through four functions: planning, organising, leading, and controlling organizational resources in an effective and efficient manner.


Management is the art or skill set that directs group efforts towards the attainment of certain predetermined goals.

It is the process of working with and through others to effectively achieve the goals of the organization, by efficiently using limited resources in the changing world. Of course, these goals may vary from one enterprise to another.
E.g.: For one enterprise, it may be launching of new products by conducting market surveys and for another, it may be profit maximization by minimising cost.

– Management includes both being effective and efficient.
– Being effective means doing the appropriate task, i.e. fitting the square pegs in square holes and round pegs in round holes.
– Being efficient means doing the task correctly, at least possible cost with minimum wastage of resources.

3-min video summary
Management Skills Defined

Management skills can be broadly classified as conceptualhuman, and technical. These skills are not exhibited equally across management levels. They vary with the nature of the job, the level of decision making, and the type of interaction with people.

1) Conceptual Skill

Conceptual skill is the cognitive ability to see the organization as a whole and the relationship among its parts.

It involves the manager’s thinking, information processing, and planning. It requires the ability to think strategically—to take a broad, long-term view. Conceptual skills are needed by all managers but are especially important for managers at the top.

Many of the responsibilities of top managers, such as decision making, resource allocation, and innovation, require a broad view.

2) Human Skill

Human skill is the manager’s ability to work with and through other people and to work effectively as a group member. 

It includes the ability to motivate, facilitate, coordinate, lead, communicate, and resolve conflicts. As globalization, workforce diversity, uncertainty, and competition for highly skilled knowledge workers increase, human skills become even more crucial. Here, focus is on emotional needs of employees instead of the physical needs related to the job.

3) Technical Skill

Technical skill is the understanding of and proficiency in the performance of specific tasks.

It includes mastery of the methods, techniques, and equipment involved in specific functions such as engineering, finance or manufacturing. These skills are particularly important at lower organizational levels. Many managers get promoted to their first management job by having excellent technical skills.

However, technical skills become less important than human and conceptual skills as managers move up the hierarchy.

The following is the highest-to-lowest order of importance of these skills for three types of management levels:

– First-line supervisor: technical, human, conceptual
– Middle-level manager: human, technical, conceptual
– Senior-level manager: human, conceptual, technical

Types of manager

Managers use conceptualhuman, and technical skills to perform the four management functions of planningorganizingleading, and controlling in all organisations. But not all managers’ jobs are the same.

Managers are responsible for different departments, work at different levels in the hierarchy, and meet different requirements for achieving high performance. Management types include: vertical and horizontal differences.

Vertical Differences

An important determinant of the manager’s job is hierarchical level. Three levels in the hierarchy include top managers, middle managers, and front-line (first-line) managers.

Top Managers are responsible for setting organizational goals, defining strategies for achieving them, monitoring and interpreting the external environment, and making decisions that affect the entire organization. They share a long-term vision for the organization, shape corporate culture, and nurture an entrepreneurial spirit that can help the company keep pace with rapid change.

Middle Managers are responsible for implementing the overall strategies and policies defined by top managers. They are concerned with the near future and are expected to establish good relationships with peers around the organisation, encourage teamwork, and resolve conflicts.

First-line Managers are directly responsible for the production of goods and services. They include titles such as supervisor, line manager, section chief, and office manager. Their primary concern is the application of rules and procedures to achieve efficient production, provide technical assistance, and motivate subordinates. The time horizon is short, with the emphasis on accomplishing day-to-day goals.

Horizontal Differences

The other major difference in management jobs occurs horizontally across the organization. These jobs include functional managers and general managers.

Functional managers are responsible for departments that perform a single functional task and have employees with similar training and skills.

Line managers
 are responsible for the manufacturing (operations) and marketing departments that make or sell the product or service.

Staff managers are in charge of departments such as finance and human resources that support the line managers.

General managers are responsible for several departments that perform different functions.

Project managers also have general management responsibility because they coordinate people across several departments to accomplish a specific project.


A manager fulfils many different roles every day. For instance, as well as leading their team, they might find themselves resolving a conflict, negotiating new contracts, representing their department at a board meeting, or approving a request for a new computer system. Put simply, they are constantly switching roles as tasks, situations, and expectations change.

Management expert and professor Henry Mintzberg recognized this, and he argued that there are ten primary roles or behaviors that can be used to categorize a manager’s different functions

These ten roles, which you can discover below, have been grouped into three major categories: interpersonal, informational, and decisional.

1) Interpersonal category is about providing information and ideas. It includes figurehead, leader, and liaison roles.
2) Informational category is about processing information. It includes monitor (nerve center), disseminator, and spokesperson roles.
3) Decisional category is about using information. It includes entrepreneur, disturbance handler, resource allocator, and negotiator roles.

Figurehead – As a manager, you have social, ceremonial and legal responsibilities. You’re expected to be a source of inspiration. People look up to you as a person with authority, and as a figurehead.
Leader – This is where you provide leadership for your team, your department or perhaps your entire organization; and it’s where you manage the performance and responsibilities of everyone in the group.
Liaison – Managers must communicate with internal and external contacts. You need to be able to network effectively on behalf of your organization.
Monitor – In this role, you regularly seek out information related to your organization and industry, looking for relevant changes in the environment. You also monitor your team, in terms of both their productivity, and their well-being.
Disseminator – This is where you communicate potentially useful information to your colleagues and your team.
Spokesperson – Managers represent and speak for their organization. In this role you’re responsible for transmitting information about your organization and its goals to the people outside it.
Entrepreneur – As a manager, you create and control change within the organization. This means solving problems, generating new ideas, and implementing them.
Disturbance Handler – When an organization or team hits an unexpected roadblock, it’s the manager who must take charge. You also need to help mediate disputes within it.
Resource Allocator – You’ll also need to determine where organizational resources are best applied. This involves allocating funding, as well as assigning staff and other organizational resources.
Negotiator – You may be needed to take part in, and direct, important negotiations within your team, department, or organization.
Lesson Summary

– Management is the use of people and resources to accomplish organizational objectives.

– Managers come in many forms and serve a variety of functions.

– The roles and responsibilities of what a manager does can differ from organization to organization.

Jim Rohn Sứ mệnh khởi nghiệp