Management Is Not the Same as What Managers Do


The concurrent business world is critically becoming dependent on different types of management. Managers, who do the work of management, thus have major influences over the business operations. The complex and competitive business environment implies that the traditional nature of the management is now changing dramatically and managers of modern era may not be what people might expect. Managers now have no demographic limitations and have no confined work diversification. The duties of managers have turned so broader that their tasks are not only limited only in management. However, the most critical aspect is the expansion of management activities. Management of a business is covering so many things that not only the managers but also the entire human resource gets involved with management. For this, Management is not the same as what managers do. This report will critically evaluate this aspect and will give evidences, which will imply that management is more than what the managers do (Robbins & Coulter, 2002, p.4).


Management contains all those activities, which coordinates the works of a business so that all the operations run efficiently and effectively with other people as well (Griffin, 2006). Here the term “other people” indicates that not only the managers but also many other people in the business are related with the management. Though the distinction between a managerial position and a non-managerial one is the task of coordinating the work of others, coordination becomes a small part of management now a day. ‘Efficiency and effectiveness’ in the management not only means efficiency and effectiveness of the managers only, rather the functions of others also. Efficiency means getting the highest amount of outputs from the least amount of inputs. On other words, efficiency may also mean to do things in a right way. Undoubtedly, managers are responsible for selection of the inputs. However, the appropriate use of these inputs is related with other people like employees and labours. The word effectiveness means the fluency of completing activities so that the organisational goals can be attained more quickly. Effectiveness also means doing the right thing. To ensure effectiveness, the managers will be deciding on the specific goals that the organisations can attain per day by the performance of the employees. As a result, management is not merely, what managers use to do. (Robbins & Coulter, 2002, p. 7)


Buckingham (2009) stated that managers are those employees of the business who works with and through other people by coordinating their work activities targeting the easier way to achieve the organisational goal. Thus, there is a strong relationship between the managers and management in terms of their coordination and other practical activities included in this relationship. Cheffins (2003) said that managers are the persons who give the direction about what to do and how to do. However, the functions of management are not confined only in this. There is another group of employees in the organisation who called managerial employees but different from the managers. The basic difference between these two employee groups is the authority. The managerial employees have no one reporting to them while they worked directly on a job or task. From this aspect, it becomes clear that management is different from the work of managers only rather it requires many other people. Besides, the functions of managers are not limited also. (Robbins & Coulter, 2002, p.4-5)

What managers do?

It is not easy to describe the tasks of managers in a single word. No two manager’s job is alike. The tasks one manager does in an organisation is quite different from the another manager of another firm. There are three aspects from where the work of the managers can be defined. These are management functions, management roles, and management skills.

Management functions include four different types of tasks. These are planning, organising, leading, and controlling. According to the management function view, manager’s activities, or duties are certain types as they coordinate the work of others. However, the lacking of this statement is, some managers are not only coordinating the works of others, but also do some other jobs. On the other hand, there is another type of managers, who only perform some part of these functions. For example, the first function of managers is planning, which is related with defining the goals, establishing strategies for achieving those goals and creates plans to integrate and coordinate activities (Mumford, 1989). All these jobs of planning function may or may not be done by the managers. Rather mostly defining the goal is now a concern of board of directors or higher authority. All other functions like organising, leading and controlling is mostly become technology oriented and thus the attachment of the managers with these jobs are decreasing.

In case of management roles, it is also true that whatever the managers are doing are not only the management. Role means the specific categories of management behaviour. Robbins & Coulter (2002) pointed out that managers are bound to perform some important functions as a part of the company. These roles are of three categories. These are interpersonal, informational, and decisional. Interpersonal roles are those, which are basically symbolic in nature and related with people. Informational role indicates the receiving, collecting, assembling, and dissemination of information. Decisional role means the duty of making appropriate choices among various alternatives. All these three types of roles are somehow related with managers but it is not mandatory that these roles would be only played by the managers. There are many bottom line decisions or many decisions regarding production, which can be solved by the decision making of the lower level or workers without any influence of the managers. Besides, interpersonal and informational both roles are played by not only managers but also the other employees of the organisation.

According to many management scholars, managers must have three types of skills. This is one of the traditional views. These three skills are technical, human, and conceptual skill. Now business has such a structure that not only the managers but also the each employee of an organisation must have to have these three skills. Therefore, it is clear that management is not only what the managers do. (Robbins and Coulter, 2002; p.8-12)

Relation between Manager and Management

Management is no longer a part of business only rather it has become a science now. This science is changing everyday to meet the newer need of the organisation. Different management techniques like management by objective, total quality management, risk management, crisis management and many other theories have developed to make the management process easy. However, top, middle, and bottom level managers are not the only users of these techniques rather than every employee of the organisation is related, thus influences the implication of these scientific techniques. Essentially, now management is a science, which will ensure the effective use of limited resources for the maximum output to ensure the achievement of the goals (Grugulis, 1998).

However, the relationship between the managers and the management is not ignorable. For example, when the term human resource management is used the ultimate question raised about who will manage the human resource? Definitely, the human resource managers will do the job but that is not enough to explore the tasks. There are many other managerial issues like process and ways of personnel collection, interviewing, training, and employing which is dependant on non-managerial people as well (Stevens, et al, 2000). Again, the relationship between the Corporate HR and top management varies based on the type of the organisation (Stone, 2008). There are many enterprises, which have no HRD but their recruitment and other HR functions are running by non-managerial employees (OPM, 1999).

Another importance of managers in a firm is act as a leader. Robbins & Judge (2008) argued that leadership means the process of influencing a group toward the achievement of goals. This leadership does not include in management, as the definition is different. However, a manager must have to do the task of leadership as a part of professional success. Therefore, it has been proven that managers do many other things rather only manage (Robbins & Judge, 2008).


From the above discussion, it is seen that, an organisation’s management does not merely comprise the job of the managers; rather, today, it seems to possess a broader range of activities. Day by day, the functions of management is changing and requiring personnel from all hierarchy to get involve with management process. Now businesses adopt a complex impression and for this, almost every employee is somehow related with the management process. In addition, managers have to do some extra jobs, which cannot be termed as management.


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