Managers at various levels of the organisation still performs the same general management functions and activities even though they manage different disciplines on various levels in the organisation such as supervisor, middle manager and senior manager.
However, the time managers spend on each management function varies from one level to the next.
The top management of a company usually consists of the board and the executive committee. The board usually includes non-executive and executive directors.
The executive directors, together with top management, is involved in the overall management of the organization. The environment in which they operate, is very vague. It is governed by the laws of the country, general trends in the economy and even world trends. They are much more focused on the long-term and strategic aspects of a company’s management. Therefore, these managers spend more time on planning and organizing than first line managers. They also spend a bit more time on the control function.
Senior and middle management of a company is usually involved in the management of the different functional areas of a company. Their task is to provide specific goals, policies and action plans based on the broad goals and objectives set by top management and to implement it in cooperation with lower levels of management. They are more focused on medium- and short-term planning. Consequently they spend less time planning and organizing than top management and significantly more time on leading and activation. Senior and middle management is more involved in staffing matters than executives.
The lower levels of management is responsible for the implementation of the objectives and plans established by higher levels of management. They are focused on short-term planning and organize their teams to achieve production targets. They also serve as a link between the workers and management. Lower level managers are more involved in activation than any other level of management in the organization.
The importance of excellent first line supervisors are often underestimated. They have a huge impact on healthy personnel management, labor relations and workplace productivity. Healthy workplace relationships are determined mostly by the relationship between the first line supervisors and their direct subordinates throughout the day.
Hannes Kruger, Management training manual. Written for the Meat Board, Chapter 1