What are Levels of Management?
Levels of Management implies the various series of managers that can be found in or present at different levels of the organization from top to bottom, as per their authority and responsibility.
The word ‘management’ does not connote a single person rather it implies a group thereof. In an organization, many individuals are recruited who work at different places to carry out various managerial activities. and to perform these activities necessary authority and responsibility are given to the employees, which results in a chain of authority. And this chain is broadly classified into three levels, which leads to the development of three management levels:
- Top Level Management
- Middle-Level Management
- Lower Level Management
Top Level Management
The company’s top-level management may comprise of the group of the company’s key persons who are senior-most executives that not just lead but also direct the efforts of other people in the organization. It includes Chairman, Board of Directors, Managing Director, General Manager, President, Vice President, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer and so on.
These hold the highest position in the organization’s hierarchy, who are responsible for determining objectives and policies of the concern. Further, they specialize mainly in the intellectual skills
Functions of Top Level Management
- Determining the objectives of Enterprise
- Formulation of plans and policies
- Strategic decision making
- Arrangement of the resources
- Organizing the activities to be performed
- Appointment of managers at departmental level.
- Responsible for growth, survival and expansion of the company.
- Protecting the integrity of the enterprise
- Communication and cooperation with the external world
- Integrate various elements and coordinate activities
- Analyse business environment
At this level of management, all the departmental heads like purchase manager, production manager, human resource manager, finance manager, marketing manager, etc can be found. They act as a connector between the top and lower-level management. Members belonging to this group are responsible for implementing policies that are developed by the top management. It is also known as functional level management.
They are accountable to top-level management for their work and provide policy decisions to the lower level management.
Functions of Middle-Level Management
- Interpretations of the policies formulated by the top-level management, to the supervisory level.
- Identifying, recruiting and appointing employees.
- Framing departmental policies
- Scheduling the activities of the departments.
- Motivating employees to give their best to work.
- Assigning and delegating activities
- Cooperation with the various department for better and smooth functioning
- Taking responsibility for all the activities performed by the first line executives.
- Acting as a bridge between top and lower-level management.
- Development of subordinate managers
Lower Level Management
Otherwise called as Operational level or Supervisory Level, having limited authorities and are responsible for maintaining coordination and discipline among the workers. It comprises supervisors, foreman, first-line managers, sub-department executives, section officer, clerks, etc.
This level of management actually undertake the tasks and activities as prescribed by the top-level management and communicated to them by the middle-level management, i.e. according to the predetermined objectives, policies and plans.
The quality and quantity of the output depend on the efficiency of the managers. They give instructions to the workers and report to middle-level management.
Functions of Lower Level Management
- Representing the complaints, issues, problems and requests of the workers.
- Maintaining healthy working condition and developing a healthy relationship between workers, and also between superior and subordinate.
- Ensuring the safety of workers
- Maintaining the standard of quality
- Overseeing the activities of subordinates
- Boosting the morale of workers
- Developing work processes, methods and schedules
- Minimizing the wastage of materials and supplies and also reducing the idle time of workers
- Interacting with the workforce and providing instructions to them
- Reporting the performance of workers to middle-level management
In a nutshell, levels of management imply the different classes of managers present in the organization with specified quanta of authority from lowest to highest.
To be precise, there is no specified rule for the number of levels in an organization. While small organizations can have fewer levels, and it can be increased with the increase in the size of the concern. Further, it is not compulsory, that organizations of the same size should have the same number of levels.
While top-level management focuses on planning and organizing, the work of middle-level management is more about staffing and coordination. Lastly, lower-level management concentrates on directing and controlling.