Managerial Skills for Managers in the 21st Century

By Tewari, Ruchi; Sharma, Ritu | Review of Management, July-September 2011 | Go to article overview

Managerial Skills for Managers in the 21st Century


Tewari, Ruchi, Sharma, Ritu, Review of Management


Introduction

Resurgence of, optimism and hope about a buoyant economic scenario seems to be hovering in the horizon but it is equally marked with flux and confusion. Conflicting signals and mixed reactions are coming in from the industry which anticipates increased business activity, better performance reflected in increased returns and profits on one hand and yet the play safe' mode has not been relinquished completely on account of which policies for cost cutting to overcome economic challenges is still in practice. Therefore efficiency and better performance to higher yields remains in focus for which the recruitment strategies adopted by business firms means increased hiring but with a focus on certain set of managerial skills which could handle the needs of the dynamic business world. Most companies in business world focus upon hiring MBAs because the common understanding is that a management student is much better equipped because of their knowledge of general business functions and can therefore through behavioral competencies manage the decision making process through innovation and strategy (GMAC, 2010).

It is time now for Management Education to review the developments in the emerging working world both at conceptual and practice levels which will certainly lay down foundations to better understanding of strengths, limitations and gaps in application of the managerial concept in real business environment. The gaps could possibly be bridged with a scientific analysis of behavioral skills and the ratio in which behavioral science could be applicable at the workplace. In this age of globalization behavioral competencies required in a job can provide useful information for training and development to B-Schools in grooming the right combinations of skill set for future managers which could help them cope with the challenges of 21st century.

In this era of competitiveness managerial skills have emerged as a basis for competitive edge as they become essential for running business activities successfully and which are further manifested as attitude. Furthermore interest in economic and managerial education and training is growing because of the knowledge society development. New ways to equip teachers and learners with the competences and skills they need for the knowledge society and economy should therefore be found.

The purpose of this paper is to examine impact and effectiveness of Managerial training during the duration of graduate management program. The study harps upon the Behavioral Skills development as a part of Managerial Skills training and Attitude alignment and their learning during MBA training. The present study tries to identify the factors that employers consider important while selecting new employees for managerial roles. In addition, it will also examine the managerial skills which are important across different organizational levels and organizational functions in the context of today's work environment.

Conceptual Analysis of Managerial Skills

Sue et al. (1982), have worked on a seminal paper which highlighted three key components of competencies and thereby there training as belief/ attitude, knowledge and skills. These three components hold a very important position in the field of occupational psychology pertaining to recruitment and selection where personality and the use of psychometric tests have been found to be very valid predictors of managerial performance (Schmidt, 1988). Whereas the academic rigor provided through the management course, tests the knowledge element of a student (Gottfredson, 1997; Graham, 1999).

Mintzberg (1973) has identified a few key activities which a manager of the present day world performs all of which indicate that the work environment is largely episodic and action oriented (Ingleton, 2005). The responsibilities of a manger include, performs a great quantity of work at an unrelenting pace; undertakes activities marked by variety, brevity and fragmentation; has a preference for issues which are current, specific and non-routine; prefers verbal rather than written means of communication; acts within a web of internal and external contacts and is subject to heavy constraints but can exert some control over the work. …

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