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Developing The Executive Manager

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Improve own managerial practice by
1. Collect and analyse feedback from appraisal/performance management systems and from colleagues about own managerial practice, and operational data about own management effectiveness?
2. Critically evaluate own management performance, based on performance information, with reference to significant management theories or models and school or trends in management thinking?
3. Use evaluation to identify strengths in own management practice and prepare an action plan to address areas for improvement?


1. Analysis of feedback from appraisal management systems

The managerial appraisals are based on the performance reviews of peers, managers, self and supervisors and also the juniors. By employing the 360 degree performance appraisal system it is possible for the individual manager to record the individual prospective of all concerned persons and thereby enhance the performance level in accordance to the individual expectations (Bettis et al., 2011). The major responses are taken in the fields of Strategic planning skills, leadership, managerial skills, team-building skills, credibility and integrity, interpersonal skills and communication skills

The following is a summarized sample 360-degree feedback form of a managerial position:

Type of skills

Present skills

 Overall Ratings

Strategic planning skills

· Able to make analysis of the external business factors for determining the threats and the opportunities

·  Uses clear logic to assimilate data

· Capable of identifying issues and analysis of complex situations

·  Inclusions of “what if” scenarios for the long term strategic planning



· Situational and transactional leadership skills exhibition

· Empathetic towards the views, situations and suggestions of the peers, subordinates and juniors (Axson, 2010)

· Able to handle the situations in  calm and composed manner

· Good motivational skills

· Leads by examples and acts as a positive role model for others

· Takes responsibility in cases of emergencies and handles situation mildly


Team building skills

· Able to select correct members for team building sessions

· Co ordinate between the team members using verbal and non verbal skills

· Respects the opinions of all members within a team


Managerial skills

· Ability to provide feedback to peers and subordinates in order to improve their job

· Equal distribution of work and responsibilities

· Manages situations before they become a problem

· Ability to integrate cultural barriers and manage the workforce accordingly


Credibility and integrity

·         Honest and credible approach to management of organizational situations

·         Maintains accountability and hierarchy in the organization to ensure the ethical aspects of the workplace


Interpersonal and communication skills

· Effective verbal and written communication skills

· Ability to co ordinate effectively with subordinates and superiors and also the peers

·  Effective listening skills

·  Ability to resolve conflict among members

· Encourage members to conduct open conversations

· Gives personal attention to the problems of peers and sub ordinates


Ratings analysis of the 360 degree feedback collected from peer, manager, group members and comparison of the same with the self assessment rates. The comparison of the ratings shows that the self-assessment of the manager is lower compared to the ratings given by the team members, peers, superiors and subordinates hence the individual has a scope of improvement if the manager takes the comments in a constructive manner. The ratings are compared on the basis of the following proposed structure (Burgess, 2010)


Extent demonstrated

Not at all


To a small extent


To a moderate extent


To a great extent


To a very great extent


Not observed



Figure 1: 360 appraisal ratings comparison

(Source: Created by author)

The overall analysis of the performance appraisal report shows the overall ratings of the performance level of the individual manager. The report measures the competencies of individual in the eye of the co members.

The assessment shows that according to the co members of the organization the individual is capable to delivering the core competency skills like

  • Exercising of confidentially to deal with sensitive issues
  • Ability to show risk taking initiatives (Coulter, 2010)
  • Ability to accept responsibility and make situational decisions
  • Able to express ideas clearly and in an organized manner
  • Ability to devise strategies that would motivate the employees and increase their productivity
  • Effective delegation of the tasks helps to reduce the work pressure of the employees
  • Ability to co ordinate the team members in order to integrate smooth work flow

The use of this 360-degree appraisal system has helped the individual to gain wide range of perspectives and judgments. Moreover, the traditional feedback systems tend to damage the cordial relationship between the superior and the subordinate however; 360-degree feedback system generates a situation of teamwork, trust and integrity among the employees in an organization. The positive result of the appraisal also motivates the employee and creates a situation of job satisfaction (Ellis & Hopkinson, 2010).

However, the 360-degree form also gives the concerned parties the authority to provide recommendations on the skills they would like to see within a manager. The peers, subordinates and the supervisors in the case of the sample appraisal of the manager recommend the following skills.

  • The manger should be aware of internal strengths and weakness and should be able to make correct self-evaluation
  • The manager should also devise a personal strategic plan for goal fulfillment
  • The manager should increase the level of self-confidence. The self evaluation ratings given by the manger shows that the manager lacks confidence in managerial skills
  • Although the manger displays the ability to resolve conflicts among the team members, however the manager should also expose the conflicts into the open for resolution at times without getting personally involved in the situation (Dooren et al., 2010).
  • The subordinates feel that the manger should give more personal attention to understand the key capabilities of the subordinates before allocation of tasks
  • The peers and the supervisors suggest that the manager needs to develop effective recruiting skills in order to build an accurate team.
  • The manager should also focus on providing cross training strategies and develop an effective job rotation system in order to motivate and increase the productivity of the employees.
  • To increase the productivity it is necessary for the manager to set clear deadlines, involve participative leadership, conduct effective meetings, generate urgency and manage the project costs effectively.
  • Finally, the manager should be able to persuade the team members in a positive manner to build new and creative ideas and make the employee productive.

2. Development of management theory

According to Lynch (2012) the formal study of management started in the 19th century with the introduction of the concept of scientific management by Taylor. Taylor’s theory showed the importance of the managerial supervision in the successful completion of jobs. Fayol’s principles of management followed the concept of Taylor notifying that the managers are should have the authority to give orders and maintain a chain of command and unit of direction. The division of work was also an essential characteristic of the past managers.

The chain was followed by Max Weber’s theory of bureaucratic approach. According to Max Weber the application of the bureaucratic leadership style helps the organization to include clearly defined job roles, maintain a hierarchy of authority, maintain standard procedures, helps in maintaining meticulous records of data and effective recruitment based on specific job qualifications (Ellis & Hopkinson, 2010).

The Human relations movement initiated by Elton Mayo was the next part of the management development. This theory stated that managers should be more people oriented than objective oriented (Lasserre, 2012). According to this theory, the knowledge about the emotional behavior of the people within the organization was more important compared to the other factors. Mayo’s theory stated that by recognizing the social needs of the employees the managers would be able to increase the productivity of the organization.

Deming’s 14 principles of management significantly focused on setting standards that will improve the effectiveness of a business. The principles stated that a manger should be adoptive in nature and should train and mange the employees and departments with constancy and change according to the changing economy (Martin, 2010).

Keeping in mind the modern and the ever-changing scenarios Peter Drucker formulated the concept of Management by objectives (MBO). Major organizations tend to follow the concept where the organization is required to define the objectives of the organization and train the employees accordingly towards the achievement of the same.

The leadership styles for the mangers were suggested in Marry Parker Follet’s theory of management. The theory stated that a leader has to possess conflict resolution power and the genuine power exhibited by the leader should not be coercive rather it should be co operative.

Based on McGregor’s X Y theory of motivation the manager within an organization needs to differentiate between the two types of individuals and accordingly use the human characteristics in order to devise the motivational techniques (Raso, 2010).

Steven Covey and John Kotter states the most recent views about leadership. According to Covey leaders should manage things and lead people and according to Kotter the leader should further have the ability to cope with complex situations and changes. Thus based on the modern concepts the managers within the growing organizations are required to frame their leadership strategies.


Critically evaluation of the performance based on management theories and models

In the modern managerial prospective the managers are require to display situational leadership skills in order to manage the diverse work cultures. In the past the managerial skills and management techniques were essentially based on the 14 principles of Fayol’s management. To establish the principles of Fayol’s management the managers in the past scenarios had to show leadership skills based on the Follet’s leadership theories.

However, in majority of the organization, the leaders in the past were found to be exhibiting bureaucratic leadership style. Martin (2010) opined that use of bureaucratic management theory of Weber helps to increase the efficiency of the managerial productivity.

However opposing the above views Raso (2010) stated that using the contingency approach is the best way to organize and lead the company. A contingent leader is capable of applying their own decisive style and situational style in order to manage the changing circumstances. The use of the situational leadership is favorable in case of handling the organizations based on the rules of the system approach. The systems approach used in the modern management concept accepts the organization as an open system where the functions of the organization are affected by the interactions of its environment. Thus, maintenance of open communication skills is necessary for the achievement of the organizational goals.

From the sample 360-degree performance appraisal analysis, it can be seen that the manager is exhibiting situational leadership styles as per the contingency theory. The individual manger in this case can also devise motivational techniques based on the type of employees working within the organization. In the modern setting the Stephen Covey’s seven habits denotes the necessary skills that a manger should posses in order to enhance the managerial skills (Thompson & Martin, 2010). The seven habits are namely being proactive, engaging in personal leadership, maintaining a priority list, adopt a winning attitude and deliver good communication skills. After the performance appraisal of the individual, the concerned peers will recommend the qualities like the individual should possess self-determination and should adopt a winning strategy by nurturing high confidence levels.

The evaluation also shows that the manger has the ability to lead the group with motivational examples. Thus, the manager exhibits leading skills instead of ordering skills. Ellis & Hopkinson (2010) added that leading skills would help the manager to reduce the burden or pressure and divide the risk among the team members equally. However, the evaluation shows that the manager is not goal focused hence it is recommendable for the manager in the sample analysis to adopt MBO concepts in order to successfully focus on an objective based approach.


Evaluation of own strengths in management practice

In order to successfully manage the workforce and direct them in achievement of organizational goals the following key strengths should be present within a manager namely

Effective communication skills: Good communication skills help in promotion of congenial work environment and strengthen the connection between the employees and the mangers.

Transparency and honesty in activities: Maintenance of transparency and honesty within the work procedure and direction regulations of the manager and the employees will help in smooth working progress within the organization.

Ability to remove loopholes: The manager should adopt the MBO concept and set SMART goals in order to succeed in achievement of organizational goals.

Motivation and positive feedback: The mangers should also be able to provide positive feedback to the employees that will indirectly contribute to the motivation of the workforce.Ellis & Hopkinson (2010) stated that it is not always necessary to provide monetary benefits in order to motivate employee’s rather non-monetary and psychological benefits are also useful in motivation of the employees.

Adaptable to technology: The major success factor of an organization is the successful implementation of the appropriate technological factors. The manger within an organization should be technologically informative and be able to embrace all types of technology and successfully implement the same in the organizational context.


Preparation of action plan to address areas of improvement

The following techniques will help the managers in improving their managerial skills

The initial duty of the manager is to set and determine appropriate goals as per the priority lists of the objectives of the organization. The determination of the goals will help the manager to successfully allocate the targets to the employees. However, Lasserre (2012) suggested that the establishments of individual goals are also necessary for the improvement of organizational productivity. It is the duty f the manager to ensure that the goals are meaningful in terms of achievements. In the next process, the manager is required to develop SMART objectives. The determination of the smart objectives makes the attainment of the objectives logical. The manager should also set measurable, attainable and time horizon for each goal so that the employees will be able to make individual plans for the attainment of the objectives. The next process involves devising various strategies to improve employee productivity. The managers should introduce training sessions and informal meetings in order to increase the productivity and also to ensure that the employees can attain the objectives within the mentioned time limits.

The next stages judge the responsibility levels of the manager. The manager with the help of situational leadership style should try to remove or reduce the hindrances in the path of goal attainment. Since the managers are the final accountable persons hence they should devise strategies to reduce the barriers in the attainment process of the organizational goal. In the final stages, the manager is required to assess the performance and the progress of the project. The assessment of the project performance will help the manager to trace the growth f the project and make necessary changes in order to increase the performance of the employees and make the project more productive.

The final phase of the plan involves providing the employees with correct motivation. The managers are required to exhibit transactional and participative leadership style in the organization context. The participative style enables the managers to make positive discussions on projects. The positive and informative feedback provided by the mangers will help to increase the productivity and increase the progress of the works within the organization (Prager, 2010).

Figure 2: Plan of performance appraisal

(Source: Created by author)



Axson D (2010) The management mythbuster. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley

Bettis R, Mitchell W and Zajac E (2011) Prospectives section of Strategic Management Journal.Strat. Mgmt. J.. 33 (1), 107-107.

Burgess M (2010) Relapse management strategies in multiple sclerosis: Theories and practice. British Journal of Neuroscience Nursing. 6 (6), 276-281.

Coulter M (2010) Strategic management in action. Boston: Prentice Hall

Dooren W, Bouckaert G and Halligan J (2010) Performance management in the public sector. New York: Routledge

Ellis N and Hopkinson G (2010) The construction of managerial knowledge in business networks: Managers' theories about communication. Industrial Marketing Management. 39 (3), 413-424.

Lasserre P (2012) Global strategic management. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan

Lynch R (2012) Strategic management. Harlow, England: Pearson

Martin J (2010) Key concepts in human resource management. Los Angeles: SAGE

Prager H (2010) Building a global management pipeline. Strategic Direction. 26 (9).

Raso R (2010) Tackling time management and performance evaluation. Nursing Management (Springhouse). 41 (5), 56.

Ross D (2010) People and performance management. Harlow: Financial Times Prentice Hall

Thompson J and Martin F (2010) Strategic management. Andover: South-Western Cengage Learning

Yoon B (2010) Strategic visualisation tools for managing technological information. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management. 22 (3), 377-397.

Zhang Q (2010) Application of Motivation Theories in Labor Safety Regulation. IJBM. 5 (3).


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