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Traits of upper management versus middle management

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quanzi
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Upper management is strategic and middle management is tactical, according to the lecture. What exact traits would be required for each level of management? Upper management is responsible for the operations of the entire company.It is important to be assertive and take lead as upper management. They must be confident and clear on their decisions and in their communication.

Middle management is responsible for executing the tasks delegated. They lead the teams of people who execute. They are responsible for performance and productivity. Middle management must have similar characteristics, but they must also have the ability to connect with their subordinates, since they work so closely with them daily. They must also be able to listen effectively to ensure the directives they receive are understood and communicated clearly to other employees. 

 
Posted : 18/08/2020 10:39 am
jwashin3
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Upper management is ultimately responsible for operations, but more important, upper management must create or articulate the company's vision for middle management and all employees.  Upper management sets the tone for the company culture, in terms of its expressed values.  Middle management must execute the vision and implement tactics set forth by upper management strategy.

However, you make a good point about the importance of middle management; they actually are the ones who make companies go.  They have a grasp of overall company strategy and have oversight of the daily, front-line operations challenges.  Customer complaints and employee conflicts typically land into the laps of middle management.  Bad Yelp and Google reviews are usually the results from dysfunctional middle management, not a blunder from the CEO.  For medical devices, an exemplary product and superior customer is direct correlated to strong middle management in the design control, manufacturing and marketing phases.

 
Posted : 20/08/2020 11:52 pm
sts27
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In all honesty, I think that the traits of upper and middle management are quite similar (depending on how you look at them). Both are required to be able to communicate effectively, articulate plans and goals, monitor the progress and outcomes of these goals and the employees who enact them, and encourage those below them to behave and function in a manner that is conducive to the goals of the company. What really differs is, as stated in the lecture, the scope of which these positions are required to encompass. Upper management maintains the long-term goals of the company while middle management maintains the day to day functions of the company, which is necessary to reach the long-term goals.  Upper and middle management do very different things, but I believe it's the tasks that differ and not the traits and skills of the manager. 

 
Posted : 15/11/2020 1:55 pm
mduru
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Posted by: @sts27

In all honesty, I think that the traits of upper and middle management are quite similar (depending on how you look at them). Both are required to be able to communicate effectively, articulate plans and goals, monitor the progress and outcomes of these goals and the employees who enact them, and encourage those below them to behave and function in a manner that is conducive to the goals of the company. What really differs is, as stated in the lecture, the scope of which these positions are required to encompass. Upper management maintains the long-term goals of the company while middle management maintains the day to day functions of the company, which is necessary to reach the long-term goals.  Upper and middle management do very different things, but I believe it's the tasks that differ and not the traits and skills of the manager. 

I concur and would like to add that it may be acceptable to say upper management answers the question "What do we do?" and the middle management answers the question "How do we do it?"

What do we do - which direction do we take the company? What new products/subsidiaries do we add? Which products/subsidiaries do we eliminate?

How do we do it - how can we achieve what we want to do? Who does which task by when?

 

 
Posted : 15/11/2020 5:03 pm
rv395
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The important trait of upper management in any industry is leadership quality. They foresee the future of company and set the vision for everyone to work towards it.Their leadership role can extend over the entire organization and they are responsible for setting the overall direction of a company and making sure that major organizational objectives are achieved.

And the main trait for middle management is to provide communication between higher management and other company employees. They set daily and monthly goals for the organisation and make sure it gets completed. And they act as liasion between higher management and rest of the employees.

 
Posted : 22/11/2020 11:26 am
dyc6
 dyc6
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Upper management and middle management also differ in their vision, with the former being more long-term focused and the latter being more short-term focused. Both share effective leadership qualities, but have different tasks. Upper management sets the goals for the company and envisions where the company should be in the future, while middle management sets out to complete those goals by further delegating tasks. However, this communication is not just one-way, but goes both ways, since middle management is also able to let upper management know of any feedback or suggestions for improvement. This information is very valuable, since middle management is more closely involved with the company's day to day workings. 

 
Posted : 22/11/2020 1:33 pm
Pedro F.
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I agree with @sts27, in the sense that both upper and middle management have overlapping functions and similar skill sets. However, I think there is a difference in tasks, while upper managements is involved with the progression of the company as a whole, the middle manager is only in charge of projects within the department. In addition, important tasks that upper management deals with could be department budgeting, whole department production vs expense analysis, company direction, and others. In some sense, I thin about upper management as the "suits", more of number crunchers and in charge of acquiring new projects to delegate to middle managers or the ultimate approval of which projects to pursue. Middle managers deal with more people, more tasks, and relations between their staff that could sometimes be more difficult that what the upper management does.   

 
Posted : 22/11/2020 8:42 pm
am2343
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I agree with Pedro in that although some of the traits may be similar, the two very different roles of each level forces people to have unique traits. Middle management is more focused on the projects that are currently ongoing within a company. They focus on efficiency and how to improve the current processes established within a company. Upper management would be much more focused on long-term growth and expansion. They would prioritize the company’s long-term goals and find ways to achieve these goals. Moving on, middle management would be expected to have critical thinking traits. They should be able to analyze processes in detail and find intuitive means to improve the current setup. On the other hand, upper management would be expected to be more innovative and think “bigger picture”. They should be able to find new ways to move a company forward successfully. Overall, although there are similarities between the traits of upper management and middle management, each management level has major differences in terms of ideal traits.

 
Posted : 22/11/2020 9:50 pm
srp98
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Upper management is responsible for not just ensuring the success of the company but also bringing in more business for the company. These are people that are at the forefront of the company so they of course have to be very aware of everything going on in the company ensuring they are actually committed to the company's mission. I think it is important for upper management to be able to really communicate effectively as they are always in contact with people both inside and outside of the company. They are in contact with engineers, customers and stockholders. 

With middle management, I think it is important that they exhibit really good organizational and leadership skills. Middle management has to be able to effectively lead a team because without good leadership, a team can quickly fall apart. They are responsible for tasks being properly carried out in a timely manner. Being organized is also important as they are responsible for meeting deadlines. There are many factors that go into a project and being able to to plan for missed milestones and contingencies and still meeting the deadline is extremely important.  

 
Posted : 21/11/2021 9:23 pm
Rifath Hasan
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We have known from Dr. Simon's lecture, upper management is strategic, while middle management is tactical. Upper management is concerned with the growth of organization in the upcoming years, while the middle management people take care of the nitty-gritty things to make this happen. These two groups have two different roles to perform. 

 

The upper management has to be well aware of their competitive organizations, the demand of the market, and so on. Assessing those things, they have to come up with a plan and mission. Taking inputs from all levels upper management has to pass their demand to the middle management. Communication is a key factor here. Middle management certainly plays a different role than upper management. They have to be more technical, time-sensitive, and responsible to successfully implement projects.  

 
Posted : 21/11/2021 11:30 pm
sseal98
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Upper Management is often responsible for leading the whole company as a unit and is often not focused on the daily occurring of each day. They are responsible for developing a large grand direction towards what the company will be going to in each department and the responsibility for each middle management is to make the grand direction come to fruition. Some traits of someone in upper management is being able to listen to a select few and be able to look into the future. This comes with experience and an ability to specialize in one topic. They also need to have a clear head an effective way of communicating what they have in mind. This is especially important because the interpretation of each middle manager has its own interpretation and needs to be able to interpret the same as all others. 

Middle management must have the ability to lead a small team in daily actions. They must have good organizational skills and the ability to use people with their best attributes in mind. They must be good peoples person and be able to resolve conflict in the best way possible. This ensures that whatever goal that the upper management has set for the company is met in a timely fashion and still have time as buffer. 

 
Posted : 22/11/2021 4:16 pm
Atharva
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High-level managers typically have extensive experience, ideally across a wide range of functions. Top management teams are frequently industry experts with a strong understanding of the long-term trajectory of the businesses in which they operate. They often benefit from charismatic, powerful communicators who have a strong sense of accountability, confidence, integrity, and risk tolerance. Middle management is a hierarchical organization's intermediate leadership level, reporting to senior management but above the lowest levels of operational staff. Executing organizational plans following company policies and top management objectives. Defining and debating information and guidelines from upper to lower management. Most importantly, inspiring and guiding lower-level managers to help them improve their performance and achieve business objectives.

 
Posted : 27/11/2022 1:12 pm
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