Four levels of organisational hierarchy

Managerial work in different levels of organisation

On different levels of any large organisation managers perform different tasks. These organisations require various forms of coordination for managerial work to be effective.

One of the coordination form can be called "horizontal". Finance, marketing and other functions that exist in the organisation have managers that are responsible for their respectful departments. They should coordinate their actions with other managers on their level.

Managers on other levels of hierarchy also coordinate work for other managers, who coordinate their work on managers on lower levels - down to the point when managers coordinate work with non-managerial employees. This approach determines levels of management.

Four categories of managers

Traditionally managers were divided into three categories, defined by the functions the managers:

  • First line management
  • Middle management
  • Senior management

In 1960s-70s the methods of teamwork were started to widespread widely and now are used by many organisations. This added another dimension to the managerial hierarchies: many companies now consider team leaders as important as any other managers.

First line managers

First line managers work mostly with non-managerial employees and report upwards on what is done. They are responsible for such resources as raw materials and manufacturing equipment. Many managers in this category are supervisors and they have to do their own non-managerial work as well as manage others. Most managers in higher levels start as first-line managers. Research shows that the work of first line managers is characterised by switching tasks very often.

Middle managers

Middle managers coordinate and control work of first line managers. In the last decade the number and importance of middle managers grew. Middle managers are often considered as a buffer between first-line and upper managers. They spent most of their time in meeting with these categories of managers, although this rule might have a few exceptions.

Senior managers

Even in large companies, senior managers are a very small group. They are responsible for the most important decisions for a company. The compensation of senior managers reflects this responsibility, however even the generous payments often are not enough for them to compensate the burden of responsibility. The work of senior managers is never over as external environment always change.

Team leaders

Management team consists of people who have responsibilities and make decisions. In SMBs it is often the owner and 2-5 other managers. In larger companies teams are often several management teams exist that operate. Leaders, however, are always responsible for results the team achieves, even when many people participate in the decision making process.

All learning material in SNAPSIM™ system is divided into six groups of managerial competencies described in this article. SNAPSIM™ matrix of managerial competencies is based on the UK’s National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Management and Leadership. NOS approach is to group 74 competencies into four managerial levels and six managerial zones. Similar competency framework is used qualifications offered by Chartered Management Institute (UK).

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