(Why) Do we Need Managers?

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Principles of Management - Fayol > Best Practices > (Why) Do we Need Managers?

(Why) Do we Need Managers?
santiago, HR Consultant, Angola, Member
Why do we need managers? They are a layer of cost and add no real value, so why do we have them? Most specialists left their field to be managers and usually hate it and perform at lower levels than in their previous roles.
What if we reduced managers to stewards and facilitators and paid them like other specialists - would this help?

Managers are Needed
MARTIN, Turnaround Manager, Kenya, Member
I read your comment on managers with a lot of consternation. The truth is that we need managers who also double up as leaders in their roles. The essence is that managers help units pull in one direction using the corresponding communication channels. Managers also enhance the spirit of responsibility and shorten the required time in delivery.
Take the situation in Africa for instance. We have plenty of resources, but we lack prudent managers in the name of leaders. Hence the continued under utilisation and proliferation of poverty.
A case in point is Nigeria with massive oil resources, but not fully utilised to create capital and avert biting poverty.

Why We Need Managers
Niranjan Chatterjee, Researcher, India, Member
Managers are not there to get involved hands-on in the processes of an organization.
They are there to coordinate and lead without which any organization is bound to flounder, no matter how efficient the rest of the human resources is.

Why do we Need Managers??
Deepesh Kaveeshwar, Manager, India, Member
Manager are role models.
They can lead as well as manage the task with the help of growing trends in management education. Now especially in India we have people as a manager who have both a commerce and engineering background. So we have multi talented people for multi-task fulfillment of an organization. Companies do require such people in bulk to obtain a global edge in competition.

Why do we Need Managers
santiago, HR Consultant, Angola, Member
I think you need to read the whole statement - specialist are needed and we need those that can lead, but they need not be managers, managers need to be stewards to facilitate and guide the specialists.
We need in Africa, specialists who are hands on and love their work and their field so that they commit to it and take personal responsibility, the managers as facilitator needs to be the same and we need leaders who can set the goals and objectives that can be followed.

Why do we Need Managers?
gloria edem kuetsinyah, Ghana, Member
We need managers so that organizations can meet it goals and objectives. Without a leader a team cannot be productive enough.

Why do we Need Managers
Nitin Thakur, Manager, United Kingdom, Member
Your raise a very valid point, something as someone who moved from an engineering (specialist as you call it) background to management, I had the same question time and time again.
I also had interest in management, without managers if you leave it to the specialists you will get overwhelmed with the number of options. Can stewards cover the role of a manager? For smaller issues I suppose they can, what if when a tactical or strategic decision needs to be made? Will the specialists see the steward as an equal hence likely to challenge or will they see him as a leader? If its the later then isn't that what a manager is there for but without the ambiguity.
Hence I would say managers are required in an organisation to provide direction, make those difficult calls and over all prevent the place from falling apart.

Why Managers are Needed
Margaret Kilonzo, Manager, Kenya, Member
We need managers to give direction if people are not led there would be total chaos.
Imagine everyone doing want they want or think is right. It would be like children playing on their own without a father or mother to give direction or guidance.

Specialists versus Managers
MARTIN, Turnaround Manager, Kenya, Member
@Nitin Thakur: I note your perspective in regard to specialists and managers, you will note that in the pyramid for managers there are three levels of work categories (operational, tactical, strategic) hence there will be no conflict at all.
Specialists fall in the tactical level and managers convey the tactical findings at their respective line departments to the top level (strategic).
All said and done managers still come out as the engine of focused growth in the company.

Of Course we Need Managers
Olumide Oni, Manager, Nigeria, Member
We cannot underestimate the importance and role of managers in organisational processes. They are no doubt an expensive layer, however, they are also a very cost-effective and money-saving layer, especially when a company is blessed with good managers who have good leadership, interpersonal, analytic skills, great understanding of their job and their role in the overall vision of the company.
They will lead their teams to victory, not just with their commands, but also with their ability to lead by example and inspire their associates.
Planning, co-ordination and implementation are the bedrock of a successful unit and you need a manager to see to make this happen.
Otherwise a company risks the chance of having their employees run around like headless chickens.

We Need Managers
Tengue Felix, Student (University), Ghana, Member
@Olumide Oni : Sister, you are right, without managers organizational goals and objectives would not be realised, they lay down strategies to ensure that organisation meet their targets.

Yes do we Need Managers... and Specialists
santiago, HR Consultant, Angola, Member
Well we do need leaders and someone or a team who sees the big picture, who has the broad perspective, to allow specialists to do great work.
Managers and leaders are of course needed, but they must be trained, developed and not because they are good or even excellent specialists.
Specialist must see their work as well rewarded and recognised as both valuable and as a career with status. Managers also need to be rewarded and have careers.
My view point is that too many specialists are under valued and their status under played.

Fayols Management Roles
Phillip Baka, Student (MBA), South Africa, Member
Yes as Fayol said we need managers to plan, organise, command, coordinate and control the organisation.

Why do we Need Managers?
pinar Basaran, Turkey, Member
I agree that we need managers in order to plan, organise, coordinate and control the organisation but I think "command" has become a wrong word in modern society...

Should we Reduce the Role of Managers?
Amar Deep Seetohul, Manager, Mauritius, Member
@Martin: We need managers to fulfil the pivotal role required in any organisation. Their linking (coordination) between the top management and the operational level is crucial. They should be above the specialists anyway.

Reduce Hierarchy - Not the Role of Managers
pinar Basaran, Turkey, Member
We should reduce hierarchy instead of reducing the role of managers.

We Need Leader as Manager... not Just a Manager
Ajay Nagariya, India, Member
We need managers who can lead a team by example, assist team members to grow their individual contribution, and work as catalyst to increase team efficiency and throughput.
I'm sure in any organization to be lucky and gifted with such a great leader, the question of "why we need a manager" will not be asked :).

Reducing Hierarchy
santiago, HR Consultant, Angola, Member
@Pinar Basaran : That is so true and with that the non value adding bureaucracy which reduces initiative and creativity in most organisations.
Of course when you take out layers of hierarchy you also reduce managers. So you get the results and with reduced "command", thus you can achieve two benefits at once. But be careful with your design.

(Why) Do we Need Managers?
Daniel Griffith, Teacher, United States, Member
I think there needs to be an understanding on this issue that there is a difference between leaders and managers. A leader, to me, is a specialist within his/her career field that steps up and takes charge and coordinates for this field with the company leaders. Whereas managers are those who are not necessarily in the career field of those they manage, but are the liaison between company leadership and section employees.
So the question, as I read it is whether or not we need the liaison between company leadership and section personnel or do we need leaders in the section to fill the gap and still work as specialist in their field?
That being said, we need both. Managers need to be able to reach into sections to get advice but at the same time not have such a stock in the section as to have a preference or favorite. Managers need to manage operations and numbers; leaders deal with people.

Why do we Need Managers
santiago, HR Consultant, Angola, Member
@Daniel Griffith: I like what you added, and yes in my mind the leader is from the team and may step down after a project, or even after an event. The manager is there to help the team deliver, facilitate conflict resolution, of resources and so on, liaison, as you say, on goals, performance and coordinate with wider corporate objectives. A worthy task and necessary as David says.
Thank you both for your views.

Manager Have a Brokering and Facilitating Role
Dali Horeshka, Business Consultant, Albania, Member
@Daniel Griffith: You are right. That is the role of managers: brokering and facilitating. While the role of managers contains difficulty, that of leaders contains risk concerning objectives to be achieved. The only way to reduce this risk is making analysis and communication a daily practice.

Leaders and Managers
David Wilson, Manager, Canada, Premium Member
I am not sure we should be separating the role of leaders and managers. In one organization where I worked we asked all managers to be leaders. It seemed to work better than trying to create managers and leaders as separate roles.

Leaders or Managers?
santiago, HR Consultant, Angola, Member
David, you are of course right, leaders are not separate from managers they have overlapping roles, and this should be recalled in our governance model when we want to handle conflicts especially on resource allocations.

Why we Need Managers... Who else would Manage Otherwise?!
Monteiro, Consultant, Portugal, Member
One reason: they are the one's who achieve goals, retain costumers and employees.
As for managers or leaders, you can be one and not the other, or be both at the same time. Effective managers are leaders.

When Managers are not Needed
Jorge Garrido, Director, Mexico, Member
Managers are not needed if you work in a high culture organization, where everybody has the right training and the goals are clear. You can reduce a lot of management layers if the top manager has empowered people and all the different teams work in the same direction.
We could call this the perfect organization, what you need is teams that are aligned and they can work in harmony.
That would mean you need perfect people, with the highest culture, with principles and personal values, with vision and commitment to do the right things being done.
I'd love to be in this situation and we are working hard to achieve this. If you find the way let me know...

It Depends on Employees
Divyani bhansali, Student (University), India, Member
If everyone can manage themselves properly, then there would be a low need for managers. If really the employees need supervisions and guidance, then more managers are needed...
Editor: Yes, compare also Situational Leadership, which is based entirely on this idea.

Oh Yes. We Need Managers!!!!
Biju T A, Professor, India, Member
Have you ever noticed the difference between laser and ordinary light? The laser is well arranged with synchronised movements of photons and this structure gives it the strength to cut through the hardest substance in the universe. Ordinary light does not have these characteristics. It scatters in the air easily.
Just like that the workforce in any organisation needs directions, guidelines, discipline, enthusiasm, spirit of unity, tenacity, conviction, etc. and all these can be inculcated in them by a manager who is also a leader for them.
It is not easy to manage a workforce having different thoughts, emotions, prejudices and reactions and it is imperative to have good manager to lead that work force as one.
If this workforce is not monitored it will be scattered easily at the very beginning of its formation. So without any doubt we need managers. Regarding specialists one wise saying is "greater knowledge reduces common sense greatly" (no offense) and with reduced common sense no managers are needed.

When we Still Need Managers
Egessa, Accountant, Uganda, Member
To win in the a new world, organisations need inspirational leaders, not just managers. With the growth of technology in each and every processes of production to service delivery there is greater need for technical/specialists than for managers.
On the other hand, there are organisations still operating in the old traditional manner, where workers need a bit of force in order to get work done. In such situation, managers are still necessary.

Managers versus Leaders do we Need Them
santiago, HR Consultant, Angola, Member
Think about the manager as the facilitator, the steward who makes the details work, (s)he looks after the daily stuff people need.
While leaders inspire, create a vision and define the values that take us forward as a unit, business.
So what are managers versus leaders? Can we live without the manager, after all they are specialists and leaders are inspirers and visionaries. Let's be honest things have to different, don't be afraid of the meaning, it's change and the future, managers are still needed but not as such as facilitators.

Difference between Managers and Leaders is Outdated
Biju T A, Professor, India, Member
@Santiago: it is matter of what we believe and what we are... The managers are leaders and please donít find any difference in this, because the 1960s theories of management have died out and we have new management systems.
In these the manager is a leader, facilitator and mentor. Please donít try so hard to find any leader in a manager and a manager in a leader. Those days are gone now. You will get a mix of both (if the manager/leader has to survive). The differences are hypothetical only and useful for dissertations and phD thesis to prove someones stand point..

Outdated Arguments?!
Monteiro, Consultant, Portugal, Member
Hi everyone, in fact, managers should be leaders, but they may be not...
As said before, a leader is someone who has followers, and there are many managers that aren't followed by anyone. People may follow their comands, but only because they have to...
On the other hand, for many years now, we know that there are leaders that aren't managers nor have any official empowered position.
Managers have to work on their skills to become, or improve their leadership status. And that is something that can and should be learned.

Leaders and Managers - There is no Difference!
David Wilson, Manager, Canada, Premium Member
@Biju T A: thank you. I agree that a leader needs to be a manager and a manager needs to be a leader. Many innovative organizations are developing leaders at all levels, leaders who also need to be managers. One without the other is like trying to have a one-sided coin. If there is a difference, it is because the person or the organization needs to improve.

Why we Need Managers
Elisha Simon, HR Consultant, Nigeria, Member
@Santiago: in answering this question, we need to know what a manager is. A manager, simply put, is a person who - in some way - coordinates and directs the action of others.
So it is not out of place to say that even supervisors are managers. Managers are very important in running the day to day affairs of an organisation. When you do not have them, the chain of command and communication will be broken and thus problems would occur.
The question should rather be how to get GOOD managers (for development in Africa).

Do we Need Managers?
Jorge Garrido, Director, Mexico, Member
Leaders are normally needed, but if you train your organization like a real team you can make it work as an independent, autonomous team, where people in the lowest levels can take decision.
Managers should create plans to grow and improve the organization and leaders are needed to help people to reach their goals. But companies don't need supervisors to watch over people's work.

Why do we Need Managers
Edna Rotich, Kenya, Member
A story is being told of two rowing teams:
- Team A had one manager and six rowers
- Team B, had six managers and one rower.
Obviously team A won. Manager's should be there, but not to micro manage staff, they should be leaders to guide on company objectives.

How do we Combine the Qualities of both the Specialists and the Managers?
Tebogo Lebodi
@Santiago: I agree we see most specialists undervalued to a point where they have to opt for management positions in order to achieve some level of recognition.
However in other cases, some specialists have served in organisations that have been frustrated by bad management that they took it upon themselves to rather steer the ship to safety, in the process losing their passion as they now spend most of their days in meetings.
The key questions are:
- Who/what do we change in order to ensure that specialists do not trade their passion for better recognition?
- How do we ensure that managers (trained in the art of management and leadership) absorb the views of specialists in their areas of passion to assist the organisation to perform efficiently?

Specialist versus Managers
santiago, HR Consultant, Angola, Member
@Tebogo Lebodi: great questions Tebogo.
1. We need to train managers to be stewards and facilitators and understand that they do not have the power (remember managers evolved from bureaucracies and held power by their positions), but the responsibility and accountability to get things done through the specialists.
2. Specialists need to see themselves as equals to the managers.
3. Leaders can be from either group or even from other areas in the organisation.
It's the real flattening of the organization, think of it as being a clover leaf with the leaves representing the various elements of the business, management, specialists, bureaucrats, non specialists and the centre piece being where they all interact and develop the business aims and objectives, then each goes forward and delivers their part, managers being responsible to make sure resources, facilities, finances are available, specialist develop design new systems and products, bureaucrats make sure the systems work, etc.

Managers May Cost too Much Comparing Their Productivity
Elarbi oussama
I totaly agree. Thank you.
Just look at the gap of the salary between a manager in a company and the simple employee. Now compare their productivity.. It often is not proportional!

Specialists, Leaders and Managers - what a Mess
Monteiro, Consultant, Portugal, Member
Hi Everyone, this discussion turned into a "mess". We started discussing "no need for managers" and it should have stopped there. Managers are needed, and managers, specialists and leaders are different concepts.
A specialist as a member of an organization is part of it and is therefore supposed to have a leader above him.
That leader is responsible for both the company's and the specialist's achievement. A leader is responsible for the professional accomplishment of the specialist.
As for the "earnings" of specialists... I don't know of any study that shows specialists are less rewarded than managers and I'm not sure you can ever find that out. Because managers are often specialists, specialists are by definition leaders (if they have no recognition, no followers, they're not specialists...).
A specialist is always a leader, some are managers others arenīt. A specialist is usually very well paid and very well known. But as in many other situations, some are valued more than others.

Why we Need Managers
halima Sheikh, Kenya, Member
@Santiago: We need managers in an organization because employees need some direction, organizing and a basic sense of command and/or authority. But on the other hand it is absurd when people who are specialists in expert fields like medicine quit their job to become a managers, most of the time they get wasted.

Why do we Need Managers
irawan sugito, HR Consultant, Indonesia, Member
What we need today is leaders, not managers. Too many managers did not do their roles e.g. managing, developing, evaluating people and their contributions, while leaders are expected to lead, provide direction and coach them - leaders are listened to and respected while managers sometimes are just enjoying their seats.

Why do we Need Managers
vasumathi, Management Consultant, Zambia, Member
All managers are not leaders, you can't teach leadership, it's something an individual should possess. We need sensible managers who have the capability to mentor their team with commitment and empathy. However, most managers are just managing in the sense of controlling their team.
Also, companies should focus on training and developing their managers rather than hiring them.

Principles of Management - Fayol
Amar Deep Seetohul, Manager, Mauritius, Member
A manager should lead in a way that the people led do not even notice they are being led... He should form part of the team both officially and on a personal basis... He should know his staff's psychology in and out. However his focus should be on completing assigned tasks in a disciplined manner and should also ensure the tasks fullfil the psychological needs of the employee...

Why do we Need Managers
Popovic Zeljko, Manager, Slovenia, Premium Member
There is a difference between a ''real'' manager and the leader. The question is reasonable, if we have both of them in company but we can not recognize who is who. In this case we are paying at least one person who brings no added value.
But in general I agree with Amar. I would just add that the manager should also know the market culture, mentality of people leaving in different countries, habits in different countries. All this with a view to ensure that people in the company will adapt to the different markets.

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