Managerial work behavior and hierarchical level: implications for the managerial training of first-line supervisors.Health Care Superv. 1991 Apr; 9(3):63-72.HC
Mintzberg proposed that managers at all levels enact ten roles. There is, however, a relative importance ascribed to the various roles given the manager's location in the hierarchy. Like Mintzberg's ideas on the utility of ten roles, we found that managers at all levels, to varying degrees, need the three skills proposed by Katz. We have argued that a variety of roles and skills describe what managers do. At the same time, the predominance of one role or skill over another may be influenced by the location of the manager in the hierarchy. The question is not whether roles would be enacted at different levels or whether skills will be required, but whether one role or skill or a set of roles and skills will be predominant for the first-line supervisor. The first-line supervisor's work requires that he or she be predominantly proficient in the areas of human and technical skills in order to fulfill supervisory responsibilities. Current empirical research supports this assertion; however, the continuing study of managerial roles and skills and other variables such as functional specialty will offer other opportunities for the study of first-line supervisors. For example, will the predominance of the roles and skills that we have discussed vary if the supervisor is a line or staff manager or if the supervisor works in a production or service related organization? Organizations adapt to change to meet the expectations of those within and outside the organization with something at stake. Organizations need managers to facilitate the realization of organizational goals, so organizations need to continuously train managers, targeting appropriate roles and skills given each manager's location in the hierarchy. The preceding pages should provide resource materials to individuals and organizations interested in evaluating and designing the training and development of first-line supervisors. This roles-and-skills information can be productively utilized to assist the organization with its management training, particularly of first-line supervisors.