In this article we will learn about the various Functions of a Manager, their Roles, Responsibilities and Duties.

  1. Functions of a Manager
  2. Roles of a Manager
  3. Informational Roles of Manager
  4. Responsibilities of a Manager
  5. Duties and Responsibilities of Sales Manager:
  6. Functions of HR Managers
  7. Functions of a Materials Managers

Answer 1. Functions of a Manager:

The manager of the modern day times performs a complex task of unifying the labour and other resources so as to achieve the overall organizational goals. In this process, he has to deal with his superiors and subordinates and also with the factors affecting the external and the internal organizational environment.

He has to make the best use of his position so that within the framework of managerial functions that he performs, he can so train his subordinates that organizational adaptability to environment increases and the organization is able to survive in this modern era of tough competition.

Management and Society:

Modern business is affected by all the society, i.e., consumers, employees, shareholders, government, social welfare societies etc. and these different categories of people have various expectations from the business enterprise.


Customers expect that that they get good quality products at reasonable rates employees expect to get handsome remuneration, shareholders expect to get adequate return on their investments, government expect that these business enterprises pay sufficient contribution to the state exchequer.

In these circumstances it becomes the responsibility of the managers that while protecting the benefits of the owners of the business, they should keep in consideration the expectations of various sections of society as well.

According to Henry Ford, “Mere money chasing is no business.” Charles B. Mcoy is of the opinion that “business leadership is not restricted merely to the walls of the factory and a business leader cannot relieve him of the responsibilities, which do not have a direct effect on the profits of the business.”

Managers have social responsibility towards the following groups of society:

1. Towards Employees:


Employees are the wealth of any business organization. If the employees are satisfied the business develops and if the employees are dissatisfied the development of business comes to a halt. Thus managers should provide maximum satisfaction to the employees.

Managers have the following responsibilities towards the employees:

(i) To pay them fair remuneration.

(ii) To provide them security of job.


(iii) To respect their self-esteem.

(iv) To lay emphasis on labour-welfare activities.

(v) To provide them social security.

(vi) To give them opportunities to participate in management.


(vii) To solve the labour problems in a cordial manner.

(viii) To arrange for their training/education and development programme.

2. Towards Community:

A manager himself is a social being. He utilizes the resources of the society while living in the society.

Hence, managers have some responsibilities towards the society also:


(i) To use the resources of society for the benefit of society.

(ii) To increase employment opportunities.

(iii) Not to pollute the environment.

(iv) To increase the standard of living of the society.


(v) To participate in social welfare by the establishment of charitable institutions, hospitals, educational institutions etc.

(vi) To promote and play an important role in civic affairs.

3. Towards Self:

A business owes the manager the foremost responsibility towards itself. The manager must seek to achieve the stated objectives for which the organization is established. In other words, the foremost responsibility, of the manager is to fulfill the objectives of the organization by running it efficiently.

Managers have the following responsibilities towards self:


(i) To run business efficiently.

(ii) To enhance his managerial knowledge and skills.

(iii) To produce the goods and services regularly and distribute them judiciously.

(iv) To increase business potentials.

(v) To optimize the use of available resources.

(vi) To increase the reputation of the organization continuously.

4. Towards Government:


Towards the government, a business owes the following responsibilities:

(i) To abide by the rules laid down by the government.

(ii) To pay taxes honestly and timely.

(iii) To help the government in the economic development of the country.

(iv) Not to distort the government machinery for selfish motives.

(v) Not to receive government favors by adopting unfair means.

5. Towards Consumers:


Presently consumers rule the market. A consumer is regarded as the ‘King’. A business owes its very survival and growth to its consumers. Thus management should make every effort to keep its consumers satisfied.

Management owes the following responsibilities towards its consumers:

(i) To make available good quality products at ‘reasonable rates.

(ii) To make available the goods regularly according to the needs.

(iii) Not to resort to adulteration of goods.

(iv) To produce the goods in accordance with the needs of the consumers.


(v) To make the goods available in accordance with the convenience of the consumers.

(vi) To make provide good after sale services.

(vii) To solve the consumer problems.

(viii) Not to resort to false and misleading advertising.

(ix) To provide information regarding the use of the product to the consumers.

(x) To behave politely with the consumers.

Answer 2. 10 Main Functions of Manager:

Important functions of a manager are as follows:

(1) Manager as a Planner:


The “very important function of a manager is of – (i) Planning, (ii) Organising, (iii) Staffing, (iv) Directing, and (v) Controlling. He is concerned with – (a) ideas; (b) things; and (c) people. He must maintain a network of outside contacts in order to assess the external environment of competition, social changes or changes in governmental rules and regulations.

This can be achieved by attending meetings, professional conferences, and through correspondence, mails etc.

(2) Manager Must have an Idea of Creativity and Innovation:

Creativity refers to generation of new ideas and innovation refers to transforming ideas into viable realities and utilities. He must adopt creative process for integrating the use of resources to accomplish certain goals. In this process ideas, things and people are of vital inputs which are to be transformed into output consistent with the goals.

(3) A Manager Must be Imaginative to Plan Ahead and to Create New Ideas:

He must have knowledge of management of things (non-human resources) which deal with the design of production system and acquisition, allocation and conversion of physical resources to achieve certain goals.

(4) Manager Must have Capability of the Management of People:

Management of people is concerned with the procurement, development, maintenance and integration of manpower working in the organisational. Every manager has to direct his sub-ordinates to put the organisational plans into practice.

(5) His Function is to Set Objectives and to Adopt Corrective Measures:


The important function of a manager is to manage the personnel to get the best possible results. The manager in the present age has to deal efficiently with the people who are to contribute for the achievement of organisational goals.

(6) Manager Must Take Necessary Measures to Train the Workers:

Working under him – It is the duty of every manager to educate, train and develop people below him so that they may use potentialities and abilities to perform the work allotted to them.

(7) Manager Must Make Arrangement for Incentives to his Workers:

Managers should help his workers in satisfying the needs and aspirations through incentives and other things.

(8) Proper Environment be Created for Workers:

Manager must provide proper environment for getting best contribution from the people working under him.

(9) Discipline among People and Worker is Essential:

He must create a climate which brings in and maintains satisfaction and discipline among the people. Thus, his job is very much complex. It requires some qualities of head and heart and cannot be performed by everybody.

(10) Manager’s Function as Leader Should be Present:

Since a manager is responsible for the activities of his sub-ordinates he must motivate them to perform better. He must be an exemplary leader so that his sub-ordinates follow his directions and guidelines with respect and dedication.

To conclude it can be said that any person who is to be offered a manager’s job must have the capacity and capabilities to meet the challenges of the job.

Answer 3. Functions of Managers

Functions Performed by Top Managers:

The top level management generally performs planning and co-ordination function. It lays down the broad policies and goals of the organisation and is also accountable to the shareholders for functioning of the organisation. All important decisions are made at this level.

Top managers perform the following functions:

(a) They lay the objectives, plans, policies and procedures for the organisation.

(b) They manage the organisation by performing the managerial functions of planning, organising, staffing, directing and controlling.

(c) They appoints the executives for middle level i.e. departmental managers.

(d) They co-ordinate activities of various departments of the organisation.

(e) They integrate internal activities of the organisation with the external environment. They update the internal environment according to changes taking place in the external environment.

(f) They assemble the resources needed to make plans into operation.

(g) They issue instructions for preparation of department budgets and procedures

(h) They decide future courses of action taking into consideration economic policies and other social, national and international factors.

(i) They cater to the demands of various groups of stakeholders who interact with the organisation, like Government, consumers, creditors, suppliers, owners, employees etc. and try to harmonise their goals with organisational goals.

Functions Performed by Middle-Level Managers:

Middle-level managers perform the following functions:

(a) They communicate policy decisions of top managers to lower-level managers and guide lower-level managers to implement them. Thus, they direct the activities of lower-level and operating employees.

(b) They lay the goals, plans and policies for their respective departments and ensure their successful accomplishment.

(c) They spend major part of their time (about 75%) in managing day-to-day operations of the company. They do not actively interact with the outside parties (customers, suppliers etc.)

(d) They balance the demands of superiors with the capacities and capabilities of the subordinates. They observe the activities of lower-level managers and report them to top managers.

(e) They participate in employment and training of lower-level management.

(f) They coordinate the activities within their division or department.

(g) They send important reports and other important data to top level management and evaluate performance of junior managers.

(h) They inspire lower-level managers towards better performance.

(i) They motivate subordinates for higher productivity and award them for their outstanding performance.

(j) They recommend amendments in policies of their respective departments.

Functions Performed by Lower-Level Managers:

Lower-level managers perform the following functions:

(a) They supervise the activities of employees, issue instructions and help them execute those instructions.

(b) They coordinate the work of employees with the organisational resources (financial and non-financial).

(c) They not only supervise the activities of employees but also train them to perform better to ensure smooth conduct of business operations.

(d) They evaluate the performance of employees and send their reports to higher-level managers.

(e) They plan day-to-day operations of the business and do not deal with the outside world.

(f) They assign jobs and tasks to various workers. They also provide training to the workers.

(g) They are responsible for the quality and quantity of production.

(h) They help to solve grievances of the workers.

(i) They prepare periodical reports about the performance of the workers.

(j) They communicate workers’ problems, suggestions and appeals to higher levels.

(k) They receive instructions from middle-level management and implement them to achieve routine functions of the business.

(I) They ensure safety of tools, machines and equipments on which workers perform the operations.

(m) They create a sense of belongingness amongst workers which helps in building the image of the enterprise.

Answer 4. Managerial Functions:

Managers are known by the work they do, the functions they perform, as listed below:

1. Planning:

Planning is the process of making decisions about the future. It is the process of determining enterprise objectives and selecting future courses of actions necessary for their accomplishment. Planning can also be referred to as the process of deciding in advance what is to be done, when and where it is to be done, how it is to be done and by whom it is to be done.

2. Organizing:

Organizing is concerned with the arrangement of an or­ganization’s resources, i.e., people, materials, technology and finance, in order to achieve enterprise objectives. It involves decisions about the division of work, allocation of authority and responsibility and the coordination of tasks.

3. Staffing:

A manager’s greatest responsibility is to select, direct, develop and evaluate the people of the organization. Staffing is the function of employing suitable persons for the enterprise. It may be defined as an activity where people are recruited, selected, trained, developed, moti­vated and compensated for manning the various positions.

4. Directing:

The function of guiding and supervising the activities of the sub-ordinates is known as directing. According to Dale, direction is telling people what to do and seeing that they do it to the best of their ability. To get things done, a manager should get along with people. He should motivate them to give their best. He should also communicate organizational policies and strategies effectively and get them implemented.

5. Controlling:

The objective of controlling is to ensure that actions con­tribute to goal accomplishment. It helps in keeping the organizational activities on the right path and aligned with plans and goals. In controlling, performances are observed, measured and compared with what had been planned. If the measured performance is found wanting, the manager must find the reasons for the same and take corrective actions.

Answer 5. Roles of a Manager:

Managers perform different roles, formal authority gives rise to three inter-personal roles and three informational roles. The two sets of roles enable the manager to play the four decisional roles.

1. Interpersonal Roles:

The important interpersonal roles of managers are:

I. Figurehead Role:

Managers perform the duties of a ceremonial nature as head of the organisation, a strategic business unit or department. Duties of interpersonal roles include routine, involving little serious communication and less important decisions. However, they are important for the smooth functioning of an organisation or department.

II. Leader Role:

The manager, in charge of the organisation/department, coordinates the work of others and leads his subordinates. Formal authority provides greater potential power to exercise and get the things done.

III. Liaison Role:

As the leader of the organisation or unit, the manager has to perform the functions of motivation, communication, encouraging team spirit and the like. Further, he has to coordinate the activities of all his subordinates, which involves the activity of liaison.

2. Informational Roles:

Manager emerges as the nerve centre of his organisation/department in view of his interpersonal links with his subordinates, peers, superiors and outsiders. Therefore, the manager has to play the informational role effectively to let the information flow continuously from one corner of the organisation to other comer.

The information roles of a manager include:

I. Monitor’s Role:

As a result of the network of contacts, the manager gets the information by scanning his environment, subordinates, peers and superiors. Managers mostly collect information in verbal form often as gossip, hearsay, speculation and through grapevine channels.

II. Disseminator’s Role:

The manager disseminates the information which he collects from different sources and through various means. He passes some of the privileged information directly to his subordinates, who otherwise have no access to it. The manager plays an important role in disseminating the information to his subordinates, when they don’t have contact with one another.

III. Spokesman’s Role:

Some insiders and/or outsiders control the unit/department or the organisation. The manager has to keep them informed about the developments in his unit. He has to keep his superior informed of every development in his unit, who in turn inform the insiders and outsiders. Directors and shareholders must be informed about financial performance. Customers must be informed about the new product developments, quality maintenance, government officials about implementation of law etc.

3. Decisional Roles:

Information is an important and basic input to decision-making. The managers play a crucial role in decision-making system of the unit. Only the manager can commit the department to new courses of action and he has full and current information to initiate and implement the decisions that determine the departments or organisational strategy.

The decisional roles of the manager are:

I. Entrepreneurial Role:

As an entrepreneur, the manager is a creator and innovator. He seeks to improve his department, adapt to the changing environmental factors. The manager appreciates new ideas and initiates new developmental projects.

According to Peter F. Drucker, “the manager has the task of creating a true whole that is larger than the sum of its parts, a productive entity that turns out more than the sum of the resources put into it”

II. Disturbance Handler Role:

Entrepreneurial role describes the manager as the voluntary initiator of change; the disturbance handler role presents the manager as the involuntarily responding to pressures. Pressures of the situation are severe and highly demand the attention of the manager and as such the manager cannot ignore the situation. For example, workers’ strike, declining sales, bankruptcy of a major customer etc.

The manager should have enough time in handling disturbances carefully, skillfully and effectively.

III. Resource Allocator’s Role:

The most important resource that a manager allocates to his subordinates is his time. He should have an open-door policy and allow the subordinates to express their opinions and share their experiences. This process helps both the manager and his subordinates in making effective decisions. In addition, the manager should empower his subordinates by delegating his authority and power.

IV. Negotiator’s Role:

Managers spend considerable time in the task of negotiations. He negotiates with the subordinates for improved commitment and loyalty, with the peers for cooperation, coordination and integration, with workers and their unions regarding conditions of employment, commitment, productivity and with the government about providing facilities for business expansion etc.

These negotiations are an integral part of the manager’s job for only he has authority to commit organisational resources and is the nerve centre of information.

Though the different roles of a manager are discussed separately for convenience, they are, in fact inseparable. The manager has to perform these roles simultaneously by integrating one with another. Thus, the major role of the manager is integrating all the roles while playing the managerial role or performing his tasks. Infact, the manager cannot play any one role isolating the other roles. As a strategist, the manager has to integrate all the roles in decision-making and performing his tasks.

Key Roles of Managers:

Henry Mintzberg concluded that the job of a top manager contains ten interrelated roles. The importance of each role and the amount of time demanded by each probably varies from one job to another.

These roles are as follows:

I. Figurehead:

Acts as legal and symbolic head; performs obligatory social, ceremonial or legal duties (hosts retirement dinners, luncheons for employees, and plant dedications; attends civic affairs; signs contracts on behalf of firm).

II. Leader:

Motivates develops and guides subordinates; oversees staffing, training, and associated activities (introduces Management by Objectives [MBO], develops a challenging work climate, provides a sense of direction, acts as a role model).

III. Liaison:

Maintains a network of contacts and information sources outside the top management in order to obtain information and assistance (meets with key people from the task environment, meets formally and informally with corporate division managers and the C^Os of other firms).

IV. Monitor:

Seeks and obtains information in order to understand the corporation and its environments; acts as the nerve centre for the corporation (reviews status reports from vice-presidents, reviews key indicators of corporate performance, scans Wall Street Journal and key trade journals, joins select clubs and societies).

V. Disseminator:

Transmits information to the rest of the top management team and other key people in the corporation (chairs staff meetings, transmits policy letters, communicates five-year plans).

VI. Spokesman:

Transmits information to key groups and people in the task environment (prepares annual report to stockholders, talks to the Chamber of Commerce, states corporate policy to the media participates in advertising campaigns, speaks before congressional committees).

VII. Entrepreneur:

Searches the corporation and its environment for projects to improve products, processes, procedures, and structures; then supervises the design and implementation of these projects (introduces cost reduction programmes, makes plant trips to divisions, changes forecasting system, brings in subcontract work to level the workload, reorganises the corporation).

VIII. Disturbance Handier:

Takes corrective action in times of disturbance or crisis (personally talks with key creditors, interest groups, congressional committees, union leaders; establishes investigative committees; revises objectives, strategies, and policies).

IX. Resource Allocator:

Allocates corporate resources by making and/or approving decisions (reviews budgets, revises programme, scheduling, initiates strategic planning, plans personnel load, and sets objectives.)

X. Negotiator:

Represents the corporation in negotiating important agreements; may speak directly with key representatives of groups in the task environment or work through a negotiator; negotiates disagreements within the corporation by working with conflicting division heads (works with labour as negotiator; resolves disputes, negotiates with creditors, suppliers and creditors).

Answer 6. Managerial Roles:

The job of a modern manager is very complex and multi-dimensional.

A brief description of the managerial roles is given below:

1. Inter Personal Relationships:

A manager plays the following inter-personal roles:

(i) Figure Head:

In this role a manager performs symbolic duties required by the status of his office. Making speeches, bestowing honors, welcoming official visitors, distributing gifts to retiring employees are examples of such ceremonial and social duties.

(ii) Leader:

This role defines the manager’s relationship with his own sub-ordinates. The manager sets an example, legitimizes the power of sub-ordinates and brings their needs in accord with those of his organization.

(iii) Liaison:

It describes a manager’s relationships with the outsiders. A manager maintains mutually beneficial relations with other organizations, governments, industry groups, etc.

2. Information Processing:

A manager receives analyses and transmits information to various people.

In this context he performs the following roles:

(i) Monitor:

It implies seeking and receiving information about his organization and external events. An example is picking up a rumor about his organization.

(ii) Disseminator:

It involves transmitting information and judgments to the members of the organization. The information relates to internal operations and the external environment. A manager calling a staff meeting after a business trip is an example of such a role.

(iii) Spokesman:

In this role, a manager speaks for his organization. He lobbies and defends his enterprise. A manager addressing the trade union is an example.

3. Decision Making:

It is the primary function of a manager. He has to take decision every day. He performs the roles as a decision-maker.

(i) Entrepreneur:

It involves initiating change or acting as a change agent. For example, a manager decides to launch a feasibility study for setting up a new plant.

(ii) Disturbance Handler:

This refers to taking charge when the organization faces a problem or crisis, e.g., strike, feud between sub-ordinates, loss of an important customer. A manager handles conflicts, complaints and competitive actions.

(iii) Resource Allocator:

In this role a manager approves budget and schedules, sets priorities and distributes resources.

(iv) Negotiator:

As a negotiator, a manager bargains with suppliers, dealers, trade union, agents, etc.

Answer 7. Managerial Roles:

According to Stoner, managerial work is characterized by the following things:

1. Managers’ Work with and through Other People:

Managers work with internal (subordinates, supervisors, peers) as well as external groups (customers, clients, suppliers, union representatives, etc.) in order to achieve corporate goals. They integrate individual efforts into teamwork. They plan things, create a structure, motivate people and achieve goals.

2. Managers are Mediators:

Managers are expected to deliver results playing the role of a mediator. They are there to put things in order, clear the paths to goals, clarify things to people, put out fires and meet goals.

3. Managers are Politicians:

Managers must develop healthy relationships with various groups in order to achieve the goals smoothly. They may have to nurture groups and join certain coalitions within a company. They often draw upon such relationships to win support for their pro­posals and decisions.

4. Managers are Diplomats:

Managers serve as official representatives of their work units at organizational meetings. They may represent the entire organization as well as a particular unit in dealing with external groups (clients, customers, government officials, etc.).

5. Managers are Symbols:

Managers are symbols of corporate success or failure. They are applauded when they succeed and get depreciated and attacked when they fail. In short, they represent corporate as well as employee aspirations. They are shown the door when these aspirations do not materialize.

6. Managers Act as Change Agents and Add Value to Organizational Effort:

Managers set goals, put resources to the best use, inspire people to give their best, coordinate effort and put everything on track. They channel energies of people and put effort on track in a changing business envi­ronment. Managers, obviously, are there to utilize corporate resources in the best possible way to achieve results, they change hats, shift gears and restructure and reorganize things continually.

Answer 8. Roles of Managers (Informational Roles):

Managers perform the complex task of unifying labour and other resources to achieve 5 organisational goals. In this process, they deal with superiors, subordinates and variables in the external and internal organisational environment. They make best use of their position to increase organisational adaptability to environment so that organisation can survive in the era of tough competition.

The roles of managers differ from their functions. The functions describe what managers should do while roles describe what they actually do.

In 1973, Henry Mintzberg took a study of the nature of managerial work. He studied the activities of five practising chief executives and identified 10 basic roles (categorised under three broad headings) which managers perform.

These roles are:

1. Inter-Personal Roles:

The need for these roles arises because managers constantly interact with the superiors, peers, subordinates and the outside parties. Unless a person is a role model to these parties, he cannot be called a successful manager.

The three main interpersonal roles are:

(a) Manager as the Figurehead:

The manager occupies an official position and performs the duties of ceremonial and official nature like signing documents, making speeches, greeting official visitors, attending social functions of employees, recognising employees for their achievements and other duties of legal and social nature.

(b) Manager as the Leader:

He looks after interests of his subordinates and solves their psychological and work-related problems. He lays down goals for his followers, co-ordinates their individual goals with organisational goals, motivates them to accomplish those goals and creates enthusiasm, loyalty and confidence amongst them to achieve the said goals.

(c) Manager as the Liaison:

The manager acts as an integrating force for different groups (superiors and subordinates and people working at the same level) within the organisation and for the organisation with the outside world (such as society, consumers, Government, trade unions etc.).

2. Informational Roles:

An organisation deals with people within and outside the organisation. For this, the manager keeps himself informed about the activities and happenings in the internal and the external environment and communicates them to members to make effective business decisions.

In this context, he performs the following three roles:

(a) Managers as Monitors:

To keep themselves informed of the internal and external organisational environment, managers monitor the activities of the organisation by reading journals and periodicals. They solve problems according to the situation. They also collect information about their environment through liaison work and conduct tours so that organisation works effectively within the environmental constraints.

(b) Managers as Disseminators:

The information that managers collect as monitors is transmitted to members of the organisation. This is done through formal and informal interaction of managers with the subordinates; by holding meetings or by circulating notices and circulars.

(c) Managers as Spokespersons:

Managers serve as a link between the superiors and subordinates and also between the external and internal organisational environment. The instructions and ordinances issued by superiors are passed to the subordinates and reactions and problems of subordinates are communicated to the superiors.

Changes in plans, policies and procedures of the organisation are also intimated to the outside world. Thus, a communication network is created by managers between different sections of society (environment) and the organisation.

3. Decisional Roles:

After collecting information from internal and external sources, managers use this information to solve problems in different situations. They choose the best alternative out of available alternatives to solve the stated problem.

The main decisional roles performed by managers are:

(a) Managers as Entrepreneurs:

Managers think of new ideas for development of the organisation and implement them within the framework of resources. It may require changes in products, processes, technology etc. which may not be easy. It is possible for managers to do so only through innovations.

Business houses are the creations of man and exist for a long period of time. As entrepreneurs, managers ensure that the business existing today continues to exist tomorrow and the successful businesses today continue to be successful tomorrow or become even more successful.

Managers also take the risk of outcome of their decisions as these decisions are based on environmental variables which are subject to change. These changes have to be incorporated in organisational processes to adapt the organisation to environmental requirements.

(b) Managers as Disturbance Handlers:

Managers deal with disturbances in and outside the organisation by reviewing the situation and making strategies to solve them. There may be problems such as firing of employees by the superiors, strike by employees, demanding higher wages by the employees, shortage of raw material, complaints by employees, facing tough situation with customers or suppliers which need active role of managers as disturbance handlers to solve them.

(c) Managers as Resource Allocators:

Managers allocate resources (physical, financial and human) to various activities of the organisation in the order of need so that organisational goals can be achieved efficiently.

(d) Managers as Negotiators:

They mediate between organisation, employees and other stakeholders. In case of conflict, they work in the interest of both, the organisation and the stakeholders (shareholders, employees, consumers etc.).

The analysis of functions and roles performed by managers draws a close relationship between them.

While performing the functions of management, managers perform various roles for effective goal attainment.

This is explained as follows:

i. While planning, managers have to make various decisions based on information collected by them. Thus, they actively perform informational and decisional roles.

ii. While organising, they decide about creating departments, assign authority and responsibility to people, delegate them the authority, decide the structure of organisation etc. and, thus, actively perform the decisional role.

iii. While staffing, they deal with people, find out various sources of recruitment and decide the process of selection. In doing so, they are actively performing the interpersonal role.

iv. While directing, managers’ work on policies related to motivation, leadership and communication. They actively deal with people and frame policies of direction by heavily relying on information collected by them from organisational members. The interpersonal and informational roles help in performing the direction function.

v. While controlling, managers collect information about the performance of employees and after comparing it with planned performance, inform the employees about deviations in their performance so that deviations do not occur again. This function is, thus, facilitated by performing the informational role.

Answer 9. Roles of a Manager:

Every manager plays many roles.

According to Henry Mintzberg, a manager’s work role has three phases:

1. Interpersonal Roles:

The need for an interpersonal arises because of the constant interaction that a manager has to do with his superiors, peers, subordinates and the outside parties.

The three main interpersonal roles are as follows:

A. Manager as the Figure Head:

The manager occupies an official position, whereby he performs the duties of signing certain documents, making speech, receiving official visitors and other duties of legal and social nature.

B. Manager as the Leader:

The manager lays down the goals for his followers, co-ordinates the individual goals with the organizational goals, motivates his followers to fulfil those goals and also motivates them to work with enthusiasm and zeal. The manager looks after the interests of his subordinates and tries to solve their problem.

C. Manager as the Liaison:

The manager has to play the role of the liaison by dealing with people other than subordinates or superiors (such as peers within the organisation and suppliers or clients outside of it).

2. Informational Roles:

Mintzberg suggests that receiving and communicating information are the most important aspects of a manager’s job.

A. Manager as Monitor:

A manager has to monitor all the activities of the organization and in case of any problem, solve it according to the situation.

B. Manager as Disseminator:

In this role, a manager has to receive and transmit informa­tion so that he can develop a thorough understanding of his organization.

C. Manager as Spokesperson:

The managers act as a link between their superiors and subordinate as also between the external and the internal organizational environment. The instructions issued by superiors are passed on to their subordinates.

3. Decisional Roles:

There are four decisional roles that a manager has to perform:

A. Managers as Entrepreneurs:

The managers keep thinking of new ideas for the develop­ment of the organization. They try to implement these ideas within the given framework of resources. He, being an entrepreneur is always ready to take risk for further development of the business.

B. Managers as Disturbance Handlers:

The managers try to solve the unexpected distur­bances arising in and outside the organization by reviewing the situation and making proper strategies to solve them.

C. Managers as Resource Allocators:

The managers allocate the monetary and non­monetary resources to various departmental activities carried on by the organization, in the order of their priority so that the organizational goals can be achieved with utmost efficiency.

D. Manager as Negotiator:

He performs the negotiator’s role in which he deals with those situations where he has to enter into negotiations on behalf of the organization i.e. he works as a mediator between the organization and the employees.

Answer 10. Responsibilities of Managers:

All the three levels of management i.e. Top, Middle and Lower level management have obligations towards three social groups:

1. Those who appointed them.

2. Those whom they manage.

3. Community.

As per Drucker ‘Job of Management’ is:

1. Managing managers.

2. Managing workers and work.

3. Managing a business.

He feels that management must place economic performance above everything else.

Tasks and Responsibilities of Professional Managers:

Technological advancement, specialization, and globalization of business has resulted into requirement of managers who are qualified with certain set of professional knowledge and skills. These qualified managers may be called professional managers.

A professional manager is an expert, trained and experienced enough to skilfully manage any type of organization be it a manufacturing or a service organization, a private or a government organization, a profit making enterprise or a NGO.

The traits of professional managers are:

1. Objectivity, focus and performance orientation.

2. Ability to handle competitive challenges of business.

3. Creativity and dynamism.

4. Ability to solve emerging organizational problem by applying theories of manage­ment and utilizing management practices based on worldwide experiences and information.

Tasks of Professional Manager:

(i) Providing Direction to the Firm:

This is the first task of a professional manager and cannot be delegated to subordinates. It requires a manager to visualize goals, and requires ability to define goals so that people can work unitedly to accomplish it in a better way.

(ii) Managing Survival and Growth:

Seeking growth while ensuring survival of the firm is a critical task of a manager. Two sets of factors create impact upon the firm for its survival and growth.

1. Set of factors, which are internal to the firm and are largely controllable. These are choice of technology, efficiency of labour, competence of managerial staff, com­pany image, financial resources, etc.

2. Set of factors which are external to the firm like government policy, laws and regulations, changing customer tastes, attitudes and values, increasing competi­tion, etc.

(iii) Maintaining Firm’s Efficiency:

A manager has not only to perform and produce results, but he is required to carry out it in the most efficient manner. The more output with the same input, the greater will be the profit.

(iv) Meeting the Competition Challenge:

A manager must anticipate and prepare for the increasing competition. Competition can arise due to more producers, products, better quality, etc.

(v) Innovation:

Innovation in business is finding new, different and better ways of conducting business/ producing /selling products or services. A manager needs to continuously plan and manage innovation. In order to do this a manager must maintain close contact with customers, be aware of competitor’s activities, industry trends and improvements in technology.

(vi) Renewal:

Renewal means providing new processes and resources. Renewal is needed as the practices and strategy responsible for where business stands today may be inadequate for the challenges and opportunities of future. Professional managers must foster the process of renewal.

(vii) Building Human Organization:

Human resource is the most critical resource of any organization. A professional manager must constantly look out for potential talent attract and retain them.

(viii) Leadership:

An organization’s success is determined by the quality of leadership that is possessed. Leadership is the power of persuasion to inspire actions towards achieving the goals of the organisation. Professional managers in the leadership role must be able to influence / motivate workers to a higher goal and direct to fulfil the duties or responsibilities assigned during the planning process.

Leadership requires interpersonal characteristic of a manager’s position that includes effective communication, close contact and relation with team members. A professional manager can only be acknowledged as a leader by sustained demonstra­tion of his / her abilities.

(ix) Change Management:

A manager acts as a change agent and ensures that the change is introduced and incorporated in a smooth manner with the least disturbance and resistance.

(x) Selection Information Technology:

Present world of information technology offers infinite choices to a manager that promise to change the way work gets done. Presenting a new challenge of using the best technology.

A professional manager needs to evaluate and find the best fit while considering utility to the organization, the costs, any implementation hurdles, acceptability and long term benefits from perspective of the organization.

Goals of a Manager:

Traditionally a manager’s position used to be that of a convenient subordinate to masters of industry. A managers’ goal is to pursue the owner’s goal of profit maximization. The ‘risk of losing the jobs’ was assumed to be the compelling force, which set a manager to pursuit owner’s objective of profit maximization single-mindedly. However in recent times, ‘Professionalization of Management’ has emerged due to separation of ownership and management.

This has resulted in creating a new objective of Manager which in some cases may be conflicting that of owner e.g. Higher Remuneration, Prestige, Power, Status etc. Unlike old times; organizational goal setting today is an exercise in bargaining, reconciliation, and ordering. These negotiations may be influenced by Unions, Government, Consumers, Suppliers, Environment activists, equal opportunity supporters etc.

Managers should not however manifest (represent) the diktat (command) of a dominant group but should represent a collective view of varied interests. In today’s world management is thought of as comprising both the process of planning and policy-making and also their execution, hence Management is as much responsible for planning as administration.

Answer 11. Duties and Responsibilities of Sales Manager:

The following are the most important duties and responsibilities of a sales manager:

1. Sales Planning:

He has to formulate sales plans, sales policies and sales programmes including the sales budget every year.

2. Ensuring Growth and Managing Change:

The sales manager is also called upon to create and maintain growth and to help the enterprise in the management of change in a dynamic and competitive market.

3. Execution of Plans and Programmes:

He is in charge of organising resources necessary to carry out the sales plans and programmes and execute these plans and programmes.

4. Control:

He is in charge of controlling selling operations and activities, evaluating the performance of sales force and ensures the achievement of sales targets or goals, particularly the profit objective of course, without sacrificing customer service and satisfaction.

5. Marketing Research:

He has to co-ordinate marketing research projects. Marketing research provides sound solutions to all marketing problems. Sales manager can take sound decisions on the basis of up-to-date and reliable information provided by marketing research department.

6. Sales Budget:

He must have sales budget for the entire sales organisation. Sales cost analysis can help him to control selling costs and expenses. Without sales budget and sales cost analysis he cannot have profit planning.

7. Distribution Channels:

He has to select proper channels of distribution and maintain good relations with distributors and dealers.

8. Sales Promotion and Advertising:

With the help of advertising and sales promotion staff, he must look after sales promotion and advertising campaigns so that consumer demand can be created and activities of personal selling can be facilitated for securing customer orders.

9. Management of Sales Force:

A sales manager is the manager and leader of the sales force. Hence, he is primarily responsible for recruitment, selection, training, promotion, remuneration, supervision, motivation and control of salesman. He has to manage all problems relating to allocation of sales territories and determination of sales quotas. He has to fix sales performance goals for each salesman.

10. Building the Sales Organisation:

The administration of the sales department is the primary responsibility of the sales manager. He has to develop the structure of the sales organisation, establish authority responsibility relationships of all members of the organisation, determine procedures, hold sales meetings, co-ordinate the work of members of the departments, keep sales records and ensure efficiency of office work and routine.

11. Financing Sales:

The sales manager is responsible for providing and managing funds for marketing. Funds are needed to finance advertising and sales promotion, accounts receivables and to offer financial help to channel members. Inventories must be financed in anticipation of seasonal demand. Cash and credit are essential in selling and distribution of goods.

12. To supplement advertising and sales promotion efforts.

Answer 12. Functions of HR Managers:

To facilitate easy understanding, the functions of HR managers may be broadly divided into two categories:

1. Managerial functions, and

2. Operative functions.

1. Managerial Functions:

The basic managerial functions comprise planning, organising, directing and controlling.

They are explained as under:

i. Planning:

This is the process of making decisions about the future. It is the process of determining enterprise objectives and selecting future courses of actions necessary for their accomplishment. Planning of per­sonnel today prevents crises tomorrow. The HR manager is expected to design appropriate policies and procedures regarding recruitment, selection and training of employees.

ii. Organizing:

This function is primarily concerned with proper grouping of personnel activities, assigning of different groups of activities to different individuals and delegation of authority. Creation of a proper structural framework is the primary task.

iii. Directing:

This involves supervising and guiding the personnel. The personnel manager must be an effective leader who can create winning teams. While achieving results, the personnel manager must, invariably, take care of the concerns and expectations of employees at all levels.

iv. Controlling:

This function involves measuring the employee’s per­formance, correcting negative deviations and ensuring the efficient accomplishment of plans. It makes individuals aware of their perfor­mance through review reports, records and personnel audit programmes. It ensures that the activities are carried out in accordance with stated plans.

2. Operative Functions:

The operative functions of HRM are as follows:

i. Procurement Function:

Procurement is concerned with hiring people who possess the requisite skills, knowledge and aptitude. Under its purview are job analysis, manpower plan­ning, recruitment, selection, placement, induction and internal mobility.

a. Job Analysis:

It is the process of collecting information relating to the operations and responsibilities pertaining to a specific job.

b. Human Resources Planning:

It is the process of determining and ensur­ing that the organization has an adequate number of qualified persons, available at proper times, performing jobs which would meet their needs and provide satisfaction for the individuals involved.

c. Recruitment:

It is the process of searching for prospective employees and stimulating them to apply for jobs in the organization.

d. Selection:

It is the process of ascertaining qualifications, experience, skill and knowledge of an applicant with a view to appraising his/her suitability to the job in question.

e. Placement:

It is the process that ensures a 360° fit, matching the em­ployee’s qualifications, experience, skills and interest with the job on offer. It is the personnel manager’s responsibility to position the right candidate at the right level.

f. Induction and Orientation:

These are techniques that help new employees adapt to their new surroundings and introduce them to the practices, policies and people.

g. Internal Mobility:

The movement of employees from one job to an­other through transfers and promotions is called internal mobility. Some employees leave an organization due to various reasons, leading to resignation, retirement and even termination. These movements are known as external mobility. In the best interest of an organization and its employees, such job changes should be guided by well-conceived principles and policies.

ii. Development Function:

Development aims at enhancing one’s ability to understand and interpret knowl­edge in a useful way. It is, strictly speaking, a long-term learning process that helps managers acquire conceptual and theoretical knowledge in a systematic manner.

This function includes the following aspects:

a. Training – It is a continuous process by which employees learn skills, knowledge, abilities and attitudes to further organizational and personnel goals.

b. Executive development- It is a systematic process of developing mana­gerial skills and capabilities through appropriate programmes.

c. Career planning and development- It is the planning of one’s career and implementation of career plans by means of education, training, job search and acquisition of work experiences. It includes succession planning which implies identifying developing and tracking key individ­uals for executive positions.

d. Human resource development- HRD aims at developing the total organ­ization. It creates a climate that enables every employee to develop and use his capabilities in order to further both individual and organizational goals.

iii. Motivation and Compensation Function:

It is a process that inspires people to give their best to the organization through the use of intrinsic (achievement, recognition, responsibility) and extrinsic (job design, work scheduling, appraisal based incentives) rewards.

a. Job Design:

Organizing tasks and responsibilities towards having a productive unit of work is called job design. The main purpose of job design is to integrate the needs of employers to suit the requirements of an organization.

b. Work Scheduling:

Organizations must realize the importance of scheduling work to motivate employees through job enrichment, shorter work weeks, flexi-time, and work sharing and work-from-home assignments. Employees need to be challenged at work and the job itself must be one that they value. Work scheduling is an attempt to structure work, incorporating the physical, physiological and behavioural aspects of work.

c. Motivation:

Combining forces that allow people to behave in certain ways is an integral aspect of motivation. People must have both the abil­ity and the motivation if they are to perform at a high level. Managers generally try to motivate people through properly administered rewards (financial as well as non-financial).

d. Job Evaluation:

Organizations formally determine the value of jobs through the process of job evaluation. This is the systematic process of determining the relative worth of jobs in order to establish which jobs should be higher paid than others within the organization. Job evaluation helps to establish internal equality between various jobs.

e. Performance Appraisal:

This is a systematic and objective way of evalu­ating work-related behaviour and potential of employees. It is a process that involves determining and communicating to an employee how he or she is performing and ideally, establishing a plan of improvement.

f. Compensation Administration:

This is the process of dividing how much an employee should be paid. The important goals of compensation ad­ministration are to design a low-cost pay plan that will attract, motivate and retain competent employees, which is also perceived to be fair by these employees.

g. Incentives and Benefits:

In addition to a basic wage structure, most organizations nowadays offer incentive compensation based on actual performance. Unlike incentives, benefits and services are offered to all employees as required by law, including social security, insurance, workmen’s compensation and welfare amenities.

iv. Maintenance Function:

It aims at protecting and preserving the physical and psychological health of employees through various welfare measures.

a. Health and Safety:

Managers at all levels are expected to know and enforce safety and health standards throughout the organization. They must ensure a work environment that protects employees from physical hazards, unhealthy conditions and unsafe acts of other personnel. Through proper safety and health programmes, the physical and psychological well-being of employees must be preserved and even improved.

b. Employee Welfare:

Employee welfare includes the services, amenities and facilities offered to employees within or outside the establishment for their physical, psychological and social wellbeing. Housing, trans­portation, education and recreation facilities are all included in the employee welfare package.

c. Social Security Measures:

Managements provide social security to their employees in addition to fringe benefits. These measures include- (a) compensation to workers (or their dependents) who are involved in accidents; (b) maternity benefits to women employees; (c) sickness and medical benefits; (d) disablement benefits/allowance; (e) dependent benefits; (f) retirement benefits like provident fund, pension and gratuity.

v. Integration Function:

The integration function tries to integrate the goals of an organization with employee aspirations through various employee-oriented programmes, like redressing grievances promptly, instituting proper disciplinary measures, em­powering people to decide things independently, encouraging a participative culture and offering constructive help to trade unions.

a. Grievance Redressal:

A grievance is any factor involving wages, hours or conditions of employment that is used as a complaint against the employer. Constructive grievance handling depends first on the man­ager’s ability to recognize, diagnose and correct the causes of potential employee dissatisfaction before it converts into a formal grievance.

b. Discipline:

It is the force that prompts an individual or a group to ob­serve the rules, regulations and procedures that are deemed necessary for the attainment of an objective.

c. Teams and Teamwork:

Self-managed teams have emerged as the most important formal groups in today’s organizations. They enhance em­ployee involvement and have the potential to create positive synergy. By increasing worker interaction, they create camaraderie among team members. They encourage individuals to put group goals above their individual goals. Teams have inherent strengths which ultimately lead to organizational success at various levels.

d. Collective Bargaining:

It is the process of agreeing on a satisfactory labour contract between the management and union. The contract contains agreements about conditions of employment such as wages, hours, promotion, and discipline; layoff, benefits, vacations, rest pauses and the grievance procedure.

e. Employee Participation and Empowerment:

Participation means shar­ing the decision-making power with the lower ranks of an organization in an appropriate manner. When workers participate in organizational decisions, they are able to see the big picture clearly and also how their actions would impact the overall growth of the company.

They can offer feedback immediately based on their experiences and improve the quality of decisions. Since they are now treated with respect, they begin to view the job and the organization as their own, and commit themselves to organizational objectives whole-heartedly.

f. Trade Unions and Employees Association:

Trade union is an associa­tion either of employees or employers or independent workers. It is a relatively permanent a body formed by workers with the objective of countering exploitation and harassment. It strives towards providing economic and social benefits to the labour community.

Trade unions have always played a powerful role in improving the lot of workers in India, using aggressive bargaining tactics. However since the 1990s, the situation has changed dramatically. Unable to fight the forces of com­petition, many employers have been forced to shut down units and scale down operations. This has made both parties realize the importance of bargaining for their rights in an atmosphere of ‘give and take’.

g. Industrial Relations:

Harmonious industrial relations between labour and management are essential to achieve industrial growth and higher productivity. When the relationship between the parties is not cordial, discontentment develops and conflicts erupt abruptly. It is not always easy to put out the fires with the existing dispute-settlement-machinery, created by the government. Hence both labour and management must appreciate the importance of openness, trust and collaboration in their day-to-day dealings.

vi. Emerging Issues:

Effective management of human resources depends on refining HRM prac­tices to changing conditions. Hence the need to look at other important issues that can motivate people to give their best in a dynamic and ever-changing environment.

a. Personnel Records:

Personnel records such as papers, files, cards, cas­settes and films are maintained to maintain a tangible record of what is actually happening in an organization and to formulate appropriate HR policies and programmes (based on historical records, actual experience and future trends) from time to time.

b. Human Resource Audit:

Human resource audit refers to an examination and evaluation of policies, procedures and practices to determine the effectiveness of HRM. Personnel audit- (a) measures the effectiveness of personnel programmes and practices and (b) determines what should or should not be done in future.

c. Human Resources Research:

It is the process of evaluating the effective­ness of human resource policies and practices and developing more appropriate ones.

d. Human Resources Accounting (HRA):

It is a measurement of the cost and value of human resources to the organization. Human resource management is said to be effective if its value and contribution in any organization is more than its cost.

e. Human Resource Information System:

HRIS is an integrated system designed to improve the efficiency with which HR data is compiled. It makes HR records more useful to the management by serving as a source of information.

f. Stress and Counselling:

Stress is the psychological and physical re­action to certain life events or situations. At an organizational level, stress results in burnout, substance abuse in the form of alcohol or drug use/dependence reduced job satisfaction, increased absenteeism and increased turnover. Companies, therefore, are closely looking at what should be done to promote the physical and mental well-being of employees through proper counselling and employee development programmes.

g. International Human Resource Management:

International business is important to almost every business today and so firms must increasingly be managed with a clear global focus. This of course, poses many chal­lenges before managers including coordinating production, sales and financial operations on a worldwide basis. International HRM places greater emphasis on a number of responsibilities and functions such as relocation, orientation and training services to help employees adapt to a new and different environment outside their own country.

vii. Other Issues:

Apart from the above emerging issues, HR also needs to deal with these issues:

a. Downsizing, or cutting down the number of employees in an organization due to reasons such as recession, fall in demand, increased competition, outsourcing, automation or technology upgradation, is an issue which has gained importance in recent years—thanks to liberalization, privat­ization and globalization.

b. Employee empowerment, of late, has become an important issue in all companies which want to compete in the global arena. Empowerment means giving the employees the authority to make decisions and pro­viding them with financial resources to implement these decisions.

c. Workforce diversity is another issue that is making headlines these days. Diversity refers to the variety or multiplicity of demographic features that characterize a company’s workforce particularly in terms of race, sex, culture, national origin, handicap, age and religion.

Answer 13. Functions of a Materials Manager:

Material management embraces all functions concerned with ordering, storage and movement of materials, i.e., purchasing, production control stores, traffic and physical distribution.

These are:

1. Purchasing:

Purchasing dept. buying materials in amount is authorized by requisitions receiving from the production control and store department.

Its main operations are:

(a) Selection of suppliers and issue of purchase order.

(b) To expedite delivery of material from the suppliers.

(c) Acting as a liaison between suppliers and other depts. of the organisation.

(d) To look for new products, materials and suppliers that can contribute to company’s profits.

2. Production Control:

This is done by-

(a) Determining requirements of materials and parts to be purchased and manufactured.

(b) Schedules production and purchasing processes of parts and materials.

(c) Issues work order to manufacturing department and purchase order to suppliers.

3. Inventory and Stores Control:

It keeps detailed and up-to-date record of inventory, on order status and potential demand for each production part and material. It is also responsible for non-productive stores like office supplies, perishable goods etc.

4. Traffic:

It controls inbound shipments of purchased material and outbound shipment of finished goods to consumers.

This is done by-

(a) Selection of carriers

(b) Auditing invoice from carriers and filing claims for refund in case of excess charges or damaged shipments

(c) Developing techniques to reduce transportation costs.

5. Physical Distribution:

Finished goods are moved from the production line to the warehouse and finally to the customer.