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Line managers:agents of human resource - Essay Example

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The traditional bureaucratic approaches are proven inadequate to deal with the complexity of the information age. The demand for swift and effective services has intensified the service management practices which in turn have set new parameters, targets, and measurement in organizational behavior…
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Download file to see previous pages The traditional bureaucratic approaches are proven inadequate to deal with the complexity of the information age. The demand for swift and effective services has intensified the service management practices which in turn have set new parameters, targets, and measurement in organizational behavior These changes are not confined to private enterprises; instead, even in public sector, a newer approach is visible that has made the sector more responsive to customer services. As McGuire, Stoner and Mylona (2008) point out, in order to deliver the top quality service demanded by stakeholders, the public sector is also reviewing the roles and responsibilities of employees and managers. Evidently, the most notable internal change associated with employee empowerment and HR function is the promising career of line managers. Who Are Line Managers? To understand the various roles and functions of a line manager it is necessary to know who/what a line manager is. To define, the managers to whom the lower level of employees or teams is bound to report directly are commonly known as line managers. At the same time, these line managers are responsible to a higher level of authority as well. Although different people define the term ‘line manager’ differently, all definitions certainly agree with the point that a line manager must be efficient in handling human resource aspects. The more specific and more accurate term in this regard might be ‘front-line managers’. Normally line managers are promoted from within and so they need not necessarily have any formal management education. This might be the reason why they are always considered to be in the lower layers of the management hierarchy. To an extent, they are devoid of higher managerial or supervisory responsibilities. Roles and Responsibilities A line manager is normally endowed with a large number of roles and responsibilities among which the responsibilities related to the human resources are most important. As explained earlier, he or she is normally the one who heads a revenue-generating department. But this is not his sole responsibility. People tend to misunderstand the duties of HR managers with that of line managers. It is important to note the difference and correlation. “HR managers work side by side with line managers to address people related issues of the organization”; and the major difference is that as compared to line managers, “HR managers assume a greater role in top management planning and decision making” (Bohlander & Snell, 2009, p. 31) . By fulfilling various functions such as setting the target, making decisions, etc. a line manager would help achieve the main objectives of the organization. At the same time, all these functions are very much related to human resource management. A line manager is thus expected to head a department so as to achieve the objectives of the organization in which he or she is appointed. But their roles and responsibilities are not just limited to making the organization achieve its financial goals. Today, line managers, as agents of Human Resource are more concerned with their role of fostering organizational change in the public. Typically the management responsibilities carried out by line managers (particularly front-line managers) might include: Day - to-day people management Providing technical expertise Organization of work allocation Monitoring work processes Checking quality Dealing with customers/clients, and Measuring operational performance (Source: The role of line managers in HR, 2012.) Evidently, looking into the matters related to human resources management is one of the main and most important functions of a line manager. In other words, line managers’ level of involvement, commitment, and cooperation determine the effectiveness of all HR strategies implemented in an organization. This is because the line manager knows the individuals who constitute the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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