Sales Manager

It is understood that an organization is a resolute arrangement of individuals working collectively to achieve an identical goal (Business Organization, 2008). At the centre of this arrangement are managers. This manager (Mr. N. Crossan) however, utilizes certain functions, skills, and roles in order to meet his organizational ambitions. Within this essay, Fayol’s functions and Katz’s skills will be discussed with reference to the manager’s practical use of these managerial suppositions.

Organizational size, technology and environmental uncertainty will too be described and how it influences his work and organization, and the theory of management that is used will also be argued. Yes, Kat’s theologies and environmental variables do determine organizations and influence the managers within them. However, it will be discussed – based on today’s contemporary society -that these theories are no longer “set in stone. ” Managerial levels in Mr. Crossan’s organization for instance are not orthodox, and it has a mix between functional and matrix structures.

Due to the different requirements of the individual managers in the organization. These are determined by the size of the organization and even by the technology within the entity, but mostly by the functional work they perform. This all can be described as a contemporary approach (a mix between administrative theories and organizational theories) which will be argued further in text. Initially, a description of the manager, Mr. Crossan, and his organization will be introduced. Further in the essay, Katz’s theories will be analyzed and then related to the skills (especially interpersonal skills) of the manager.

Then after, the entity’s contingency approach will be analyzed, with reference to the company’s size, technological influences and other environmental uncertainties. The essay will finish off with why the manager’s contemporary approach together with the organisation’s mixed structure gives them an advantage over their environment like their customers and competitors. The Organization in Brief The environment that the company is in deals with the sale and repairs of office equipment (like photo-copiers, faxes, etc).

The organization is called Toshiba Copy-type Electronics, and they endeavor to maintain their position as the provider of recognized world quality products. The company started as a small reseller in a house, selling minor office equipment, but now they have merged with Toshiba and have become South Africa’s most reputed and profitable office equipment retailer, even though they are one entity with just 150+ employees. They are a single supplier of full range office equipment necessary for the efficient running of today’s business organizations.

The entity has knowledge derived from over 30 years of marketing and selling office products, and the experience of their technical staff with service ranging from 2 years to over 30 years with their organization (Toshiba Online, 2009). The Manager in Brief Mr. Crossan has been working for this organization ever since it began. He is now one of six sales managers and is well established amongst is co-workers, other employees, and especially his customers. In today’s modern society, Mr. Crossan does not only manage, but makes his money doing sales like all the other employees.

This organisation is vastly different than most others and that is where their contemporary approach is very suited to their operations. Because he works on commission, he has to sell to make money, and receives no income from managing. The position is based on his experience and he does it to improve the operations of the organization, which in return improves his operations. To do this, the manager has certain functions he has to perform. He needs to plan, organize, lead and control to “harmonise effort and activity” (Lamond, 1997, p. 4).

Crossan sets sales and profit targets that he and the rest of the sales staff have to meet which is the main goal of any organization. To satisfy these targets, the manager organises. He sets workflow processes to ensure everyone has something to do, and to ensure each person is making the company money. He also diarises client meetings and sales deadlines in order to work as efficiently as possible. As a manager, Mr. Crossan has team building in order to motivate the sales employees to operate in a more efficient manner which will also show across to their clients and improve client confidence.

This is where the business utilizes an organizational approach; to see how his employees are feeling, and improve their socialism in the group which is again reflected to their clients. He also trains the employees on how to utilize and sell new products that arrive in their product line. At the end of every week, the manager has performance reviews of the company, and individual employees that he manages to see if they are doing the correct things and doing them in an efficient and timely manner. His managerial functions are divided as illustrated in figure 1.

However, these managerial operations only form 50% of his total work. The rest are his sales with customers. As a manager in this contemporary organization, to be able to plan, organise, lead and control, he needs to employ certain skills to perform his obligations and meet the company’s objectives. Typology as Proposed by Katz As mentioned by Peterson and Van Fleet: “A skill is the ability either to perform some specific behavioural task or the ability to perform some specific cognitive process that is functionally related to some particular task” (2004, p. 1298).

As Levinson at Harvard University stated, a manager is an individual who directs the activities of others and assumes the responsibility for attaining certain goals through these efforts. However, successful management appears to rest on Katz’s three-skill theories: technical, human, and conceptual skills. Katz also stated that the importance of each skill varies according to managerial hierarchies, as visualised in figure 2 (Robbins, Bergman, Stagg, & Coulter, 2008, p. 15). Toshiba Copy-type Electronics matrix structure does not have these pre-determined organizational levels.

This is because all the sales employees, although in the same company, compete against each other for clients. They do not have time to wait for authorization from different levels of management, and do not want their sales strategies to be spread to others. This is why the organization has only two management levels: The top manager who is the CEO of the company, and the divisional managers: Finance, Work-shop, and Sales Managers. This unique structure affects Mr. Crossan’s approach to management – which will be explained later – but also the skills he requires.

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