NORDSCI Conference proceedings 2022, Book 2

Business and Management

EVOLVING ROLE OF MANAGER IN THE CONTEXT OF A TRANSNATIONAL ORGANIZATION

Ms. Prabhjot Kaur, Prof. Dr. Tanuja Sharma

ABSTRACT

Organizations have often been personified and are deemed to have their own personalities and individual identities. In the early 1900s, they were considered as a literal manifestation of a human being with a “head” that thinks, and “hands” that do the work. This analogy implies that managers are the “heads” who shall do all the thinking and managing, while on the other hand, employees are the unthinking “hands,” who will be guided by a distant mind. This thought paradigm led to the emergence of the phrase “hired hands”. In the 1960s “humanists” focused their attention on the managerial styles in organizations. They advocated the participative, people-oriented style and criticized an autocratic, task-oriented style. The concept was further evolved by looking at not just “who” managers (innate traits) are but what they “do” (skills to do the job). This led to the emergence of “contingency theorists” who found that the role of the manager is contingent upon various factors and that there were more parallels than variances in their jobs. In the 1970s seminal work by Katz suggested that there is an ideal profile of a manager which varies across different hierarchy levels and one can train managers on skills across each of the levels [1]. At the same time, another seminal work by Henry Mintzberg gave more clarity on the various roles of managers and the skills required in each of them [2]. Gradually, as the economic landscape evolved, organizations transitioned from a single country to cross-border operations, and the role of the manager also transformed. In the 1990s researchers challenged the generic role of a manager as a “Russian doll” wherein across various hierarchical levels, the manager is similar but bigger than the manager below. They brought the concept of “value-add” for each managerial role and proposed the concept of “individualized corporation"—one that capitalizes on the idiosyncrasies and even the eccentricities of exceptional people by recognizing, developing, and applying their unique capabilities [3]. In the 2000s, various researchers contributed to the literature by bringing in a systems view, reinforcing the importance of interactions beyond direct hierarchy, and looking at global exposure as critical rather than desirable [4]. While others re-looked at the manager as a “concept” rather than a role in the knowledge economy [5]. This paper builds on the existing literature on the concept of a manager in a transnational organization with flat structure and knowledge workers. All employees in this context ‘self-manage’ and the role of the manager then becomes that of an ‘orchestrator’. It can be viewed as a continuum in the form of a spiral. Each point in the spiral represents a sphere of influence & impact the manager can create depending on the role and the center represents business strategy, which acts as an anchor for all decisions.

KEYWORDS

Manager, Evolving role, Transnational organization, Spiral model

REFERENCE

NORDSCI Conference proceedings 2022, Book 2,Volume 5, ISSN 2603-4107, ISBN 978-619-7495-30-0, DOI paper 10.32008/NORDSCI2022/B2/V5/03, Pages 35 - 43 pp