Modern Senior Manager

Senior Management

Modern Senior Manager

It is without any doubt that the senior managers of an entity represent its backbone. They are the ones envisioning the companys future and uniting the people so as to achieve the organizational goals. The modern day literature presents the reader with descriptions of various managerial styles. Belker and Topchik (2005) for instance forward the managerial types of the autocrat and the diplomat leaders. Mullins (2007) on the other hand offers a more complex approach and argues the existence of five managerial styles, which lead to the creation of five types of leaders — the impoverished manager, the authority-compliance manager, the country club manager, the middle-of-the-road manager and the team manager.

Despite the large diversity in perceiving the different leadership figures and their different leadership styles, fact remains that there are some sources which will forward a necessity to create and implement a universal model of the senior manager. This individual would meet specific criteria in terms of education, professional background or personal skills and abilities. The process is best known as competency modeling, and it involves a situation in which the human resource team at a specific organization assesses its needs. Otherwise put, it creates the profile of the future manager based on the specific characteristics of the companys needs. At Baker Foods, Ann Baxter, the head of the Human Resource Division, viewed this process as a next step in the “ongoing leadership development project” and argued that the company “need[ed] to define exactly what were looking for from our people at the top.” Virtually, the leadership competency modeling program would on the one hand establish the criteria that has to be met by the senior manager, and on the other hand establish the functions with which he would have to comply. The “framework [] would not only highlight the critical values, knowledge, and skills necessary to lead any of the divisions of the consumer-packed-goods company but also identify the corresponding tasks, behaviors and measures of success” (Morrison, 2007).

As it can be expected, the response from the individuals employed by Baker Foods was diversified, with some parties defending the benefits of the competency models, others putting it down, and a third category of people not fully understanding the concept. This situation is in fact common within most organizations. A 2000 study conducted by Arthur Anderson and Schoonover Associates on the levels of integration and perception of competency models stands evidence of the diverse standpoints relative to the issue. The most significant findings of the study include the following:

Competency models are used in virtually all business sectors, regardless of organizational size or industry sector

Competency models are most efficiently used in selection and recruitment, development of job descriptions, training, performance management, planning and career development

The levels of satisfaction after using competency models vary from one institution to the other; sophisticated organizations generally retrieve superior levels of satisfaction

The most common factors which reduce the success rates of competency models include insufficiency of the allocated resources, lack of managerial support, lack of previous expertise with competency models or an organizational focus on consolidating the competitive position in the detriment of internal matters (LaRocca)

Given this situation, it becomes obvious that the implementation of the competency modeling concept is both encouraged as well as impeded. The factors which support the implementation of the framework refer to the following:

The competency models would help with the process of selection as they would substantially reduce the workloads of the HR Department, reduce the adherent costs and stand increased chances of hiring the manager who is best able to serve the needs of the organization


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