Type: Review
Pages: 2 | Words: 593
Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Increased interest to the business, economic and social areas has led to greater interest to this article. The author tries to suggest three-skill approach for a successful manager in different degrees according to the level of management.

To begin with, the author’s point of view is not based on innate traits and features of good executives, but rather on the skills which they show in the process of their job. A skill is an ability to transform a particular knowledge into activity. A skill may not be inborn; it is an ability which can be developed.

Three-skill Approach for Managers

It is considered that a manager is a person who implies the tasks of subordinate people and is responsible for the results of the certain task. According to this definition, good administration includes three basic skills: technical, human and conceptual. Though these skills are sometimes closely interrelated, in the article they are examined separately.

Technical skill implies specialized knowledge in a specific activity, particularly with methods, processes, techniques and procedures. Technical skill is the most concrete. This skill is concerned with working with processes or physical objects. In other words it is a skill of performing the technical activities.

Human skill is the manager’s ability to work effectively as a member of a group and to build cooperation within the team he leads. This skill is demonstrated the way the person perceives his superior, equals, and subordinates, and the way he reacts and behaves subsequently. This skill deals with working with people. Human skill implies understanding and motivating individuals and groups.

Conceptual skill is the ability to see and visualize the enterprise as a whole. A person with this skill can recognize how the different departments of the enterprise depend on one another, and how changes in one function affect all the others. Conceptual skill foresees coordinating and integrating all the activities and interests of the organization toward a common aim.

The importance of the skills mentioned above varies with level of administrative responsibility. Technical and human skills have greatest importance at the lower levels of administration.  The higher is the level of administration, the less important is technical skill while the need for conceptual skill increases. From the other hand, human skill may also be applied on higher levels. On the highest positions conceptual skill is the most important.

To develop all these skills a good manager can use different techniques: group training, working in class, taking special assignments, working individually. But the most effective result is implementation and developing skills in the process of work of the concrete organization.

Such three-skill approach emphasizes that good managers and executives may be developed through the development of these skills. The identification and development of technical, human and conceptual skills may appear to be useful in the selection, training, and promotion of effective executives.

The article is aimed to show that a good administrator needs three basic skills for effective work and cooperation. It is an attempt to focus attention on demonstrable skills rather than on innate, personal characteristics. In the context of describing technical and human skills a special attention is paid for the importance of conceptual skill as a unique ability of a good manager.

The article was first published in 1955 but in 20-years retrospective the author comments his previous work and adds some advice which he got thanks to his practice. At the same time the author agrees with his previous point of view. He emphasizes the significant role of all three skills even for managers of all levels representing three-skill approach as a tool for top management and effective organization.

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