Three levels of management present in the hierarchy of an organization are: A. Top Management B. Middle Management C. Supervisory or Operational Management!

An organization consists of a group of people; each performing the job assigned to him by his superior.

To be able to fulfill the job assigned they are given necessary amount of authority or the right to take a decision. This authority-responsibility relationship between the superiors and the subordinates gives rise to different levels in the organisation which are known as levels of management or hierarchy of management.


In the hierarchy of an organisation there are three levels of management viz. (i) Top Management, (ii) Middle Management, (iii) Supervisory or Operational Management.

A. Top Management:

It consists of managers at the highest level in the management hierarchy. Their job is complex and quite stressful demanding complete dedication and commitment to organisation. Top level managers are responsible for welfare and survival of the organisation.

It consists of the Chairman, Managing Director, Board of Directors, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, President, Vice-President, General Manager etc. who are responsible for the ultimate success or failure of the organisation.

Main Functions of Top Management:

Top management performs the following functions:


1. Develop Long Term Objectives:

Top level managers develop the long term objectives like expansion of business, manpower planning etc.

2. Framing of Policies:

They lay down guidelines for departmental heads, i.e. policies relating to production, marketing, personnel, finance, public relations etc.


3. Organising:

Top management organizes the business into various sections and departments to achieve the desired organizational objectives.

4. Key Appointments:

Top level authorities appoint the departmental heads and some other key persons to develop the organizational structure for profitable growth of the enterprise.


5. Controlling:

Top level managers periodically review the work of executives at different levels to ensure that their performance is as per predetermined plans.

B. Middle Management:

Middle Management acts as a link between Top Management and the Supervisory Management. They are mainly known as Division Head viz. Factory Manager, Plant Superintendent etc. They are responsible for implementing and controlling plans and strategies formulated by top management.

They receive orders and instructions from top managers and get work done through lower managers. It also consists of the heads of various departments like the Finance Manager, Production Manager, Marketing Manager, Sales Manager etc.

Main Functions of Middle Management:


1. Departmental Objectives:

It formulates short-term departmental objectives in accordance with the organisational objectives. It interprets departmental policies framed by top management and then transmits the policy decisions to the operational levels.

2. Assignment of Duties:

It assigns duties and responsibilities to operative and supervisory personnel for the execution of their departmental plans.


3. Link:

It acts as a linking channel between the top level management and operational levels.

4. Communication:

It communicates orders/decisions downwards and carries the problems/suggestions upwards.


5. Coordination:

It develops an effective support system of coordination with other departments.

C. Supervisory or Operational Management:

Bottom level of management is considered as operative management. They are first line managers who oversee the efforts of the work force and actually carry out the operational work in an organisation. For example Supervisors, Foremen, Inspectors etc.

A lower level manager, being one who actually operates the schedule of actions desired from staff, has following major functions to perform.

Main Function of Supervisory or Operational Management:

1. Link between Middle Management and Workforce:

To act as a link between workers and the middle management. They pass on the instructions of the middle management to the workers and the workers, suggestions, complains etc. to the middle management.


2. Maintenance of Quality:

To maintain the quality of output in the organisation.

3. Act as guide to the Workers:

To minimize the wastage of materials by providing sufficient guidance and direction to the workers.

4. Act as Supervisors:

To supervise the work of the workers.


5. Discipline:

To maintain discipline among the workers.

6. Safety:

To adopt sufficient safety measures.

7. Training:

To arrange for training at workplace.