Our society is made up of all kinds of organizations, such as companies, government departments, unions, hospitals, schools, libraries, and the like. In all these organisations, there are people carrying out the work of a manager although they do not have that title. The vice-chancellor of a university, the president of a students’ union or a chief librarian are all managers. They have a responsibility to use the resources of their organisation effectively and economically to achieve its objectives.
A French industrialist, Henri Fayol, wrote in 1916 a classic definition of the manager’s role. He said that to manage is « to forecast and plan, to organize, to motivate, to direct and lead to coordinate and to control ».
In most companies, the activities of a manager depend on the level at which he/she is working. Top managers, such as the chairmen and directors, will be more involved in long range planning, policy making, and the relations of the company with the outside world. They will be making decisions on the future of the company, the sort of product lines it should develop, how it should face up to the competition, whether it should diversify etc. These strategic decisions are part of the planning function.
On the other hand, middle management and supervisors are generally making the day-to-day decisions which help an organisation to run efficiently and smoothly. They must respond the pressure of the job, which may mean dealing with an unhappy customer, chasing up supplies, meeting an urgent order or sorting out a technical problem. Managers at this level spend a great deal of time communicating, coordinating and making decisions affecting the daily operation of the organisation.
American writer, mr Peter Drucker has spelled out what managers do. In his opinion, managers perform five basic operations. Firstly, managers set objectives. They decide what these should be and how the organisation can achieve them. For this task, they need analytical ability. Secondly, managers organise. They must decide how the resources of the company are to be used, how the work is to be classified and divided. Furthermore, they must select people for the work to be done. For this, they not only need analytical ability but also understanding of human beings. Their third task is to motivate and communicate effectively. They must be able to get people to work as a team, and to be as productive as possible. To do this, they will be communicating effectively with all levels of the organisations – their superiors, colleagues, and subordinates. To succeed in this task, managers need social skills. The fourth activity is measurement. Having set targets and standards, managers have to measure the performance of the organisation, and of its staff, in relation to those targets. Measuring requires analytical ability. Finally, Peter Drucker says that managers develop people, including themselves. They help to make people more productive, and to grow as human beings. They make them bigger and richer persons.
In Peter Drucker’s view, successful managers are not necessarily people who are liked or who get on well with others. They are people who command the respect of workers, and who set high standards. Good managers need not be geniuses but must bring character to the job. They are people of integrity, who will look for that quality in others.
Ex.2. Find words or phrases in the text which mean the same as the following:
1. carefully, not wastefully ( paragraph 1 )
2. expand the range of products (3)
3. operate (4)
4. resolving (4)
5. said in a clear, detailed way (5)
Ex.3. Managers set objectives. What is an objective? Give the examples of objectives that sales, production and personnel managers might set.
Ex.4. Complete the following sentences using suitable words or phrases from the box below.
1. The group of executives, working below the top managers are generally called _______ .
2. Valerie is an important person in our company. She is a member of the Board of _______ .
3. Peter, a recent university graduate, has been with the firm for a year. He is at present a ______ and is being trained for a managerial position.
4. Their _______ is expanding rapidly. They now have over 5,000 employees.
5. At least 50% of our _______ have been with the company over ten years.
6. ________ in an organisation generally have more fringe benefits than lower-level managers.
7. We are a small group in the Research and Development Department. Fortunately, I get on well with all my _______ .
8. Our telephone operators work under the direction of a ________ .
9. I work under mr Brown. He’s my _______ .
10. Sheila and Tom work under my authority. I am their boss and they are my _____.
11. I am responsible for ______ training and development.
12. A ______ is a person of high rank in an organisation, usually next in importance to the Chairman.
Ex.5. Word building. Complete the following sentences with the correct form of the words in italics.
a) Our production of washing-machines increased by 5% last year.
b) We have recently put on the market two new ______ .
c) _______ per worker will increase with the introduction of the new machines.
d) Word processors have helped to make office workers more ______ .
e) The company is well-known in the agricultural industry. It sells mainly farm ______ - eggs, butter, milk, etc.
a) Coca cola’s main ________ is Pepsi-Cola company.
b) We try to stay _______ by investing heavily in advertising and promotion.
c) Our company’s main objective is to keep ahead of the _______.
a) The meeting did not go as _______ .
b) Some projects take years of _______ .
c) Before asking a bank manager for money, it is wise to show him a business________ .
a) Managers have to an ______ mind.
b) Our _______ showed that we needed to put more emphasis on marketing.
c) We must look at the problem ________ .
Ex.6. Complete the following sentences with the correct word or phrase (a, b, c, d).
1. Nowadays, I eat out at restaurants regularly and often go abroad for holidays. My ……… is much higher than it used to be.
a) standard of living b) cost of living
c) lifestyle d) way of life.
2. Wring reports is not a ………… that everyone enjoys.
a) duty b) work c) job d) function.
3. This machine uses much less fuel than the previous one. It is far more ………. .
a) sparing b) economic c) effective d) economical.
4. The management has worked out a ………… to improve our market share.
a) strategy b) policy c) target d) planning.
5. Many of the …………. In the Personnel Department are part-time workers.
a) staff b) staffs c) employers d) personal.
6. One of the company’s main………….. is to increase sales by 10% per year.
a) designs b) plans c) purposes d) objectives.
7. Several machines have broken down. We won’t be able to …………… an important order.