10 Manager Responsibilities in a Functional Organization

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated September 18, 2022 | Published August 17, 2021

Updated September 18, 2022

Published August 17, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Managers are highly skilled individuals responsible for directing the processes of an organization. Their responsibilities often relate to all parts of an organization's operations. Understanding what a manager's responsibilities are can help you prepare for a leadership role in your organization. In this article, we discuss what a manager is, highlight various manager responsibilities, and identify ten examples of specific duties that are part of a manager's responsibilities.

Top manager responsibilities

Manager responsibilities include roles that involve all parts of the organization rather than specific duties, including:

Interpersonal role

While achieving organizational goals, managers interact with certain organizational or external stakeholders. Interpersonal roles refer to the parts of a manager's responsibilities that involve relating with other people, both within and outside the organization. The manager's interpersonal role involves their leadership, liaison, and figurehead roles. Leadership roles refer to the manager's interpersonal relationship with employees within the company. Liaison roles refer to building strategic relationships within and outside the organization to sustain organizational goals. A manager's figurehead roles involve all the manager's functions to maintain such strategic relationships.

Related: What Is the Difference Between Director and Manager? A Guide

Informational roles

A manager's informational role refers to duties that involve managing the flow of information within an organization. This includes gathering information regarding the company's affairs from internal mechanisms and distributing information to relevant stakeholders. The informational role also includes controlling the flow of information to ensure order within the organization. In fulfilling their informational role, managers monitor various departments, receiving regular updates from department heads. They also determine what information they provide to their management team and employees. The manager often acts as a spokesperson, communicating with relevant stakeholders like investors, directors, and the press.

Decision-making role

Managers make decisions within their respective areas of authority. This decision-making role includes managing risks on behalf of the company, handling internal and external threats to the organization, managing the organization's resources, and overseeing negotiations with vendors, clients, and other external bodies. Regardless of whether managers handle specific tasks relating to these duties, they generally oversee company policy on those matters. As part of their decision-making role, managers also look for opportunities to maximize and design the strategy to capitalize on opportunities.

Related: Top Management Skills Every Manager Needs

What is a manager?

The manager of an organization is responsible for determining, directing, and supervising its procedures. They are usually professionals with high levels of experience in their field. The term manager can apply to different levels of leadership. For example, the CEO of a company is a manager, and the head of a department within that company can also be a manager. There are different types of managers, including:

  • General managers: These managers supervise the overall performance of an organization or one of its main departments. Examples of general managers are branch managers, regional managers, and national managers.

  • Functional managers: Functional managers are responsible for the activities of units within an organization. Examples of functional managers are leaders of individual departments.

  • Frontline managers: These managers deal directly with other employees. Examples of frontline managers are project or team leaders.

Related: How To Become a Manager in 6 Steps

Ten examples of manager duties

There are specific tasks involved in a manager's responsibilities, including:

1. Acting as the representative of their company or jurisdiction

Beyond leading the organization, the manager also acts as the spokesperson of the organization. Managers at the executive level often release statements to the press and the general public on organizational affairs. Managers also perform a range of ceremonial functions on behalf of the company. This includes entertaining guests, meeting with investors or partners, attending special events, and hosting press conferences.

2. Directing and supervising staff members

At various levels, managers supervise and direct the affairs of their staff. For example, the CEO of an organization delegates tasks to their team of executives and monitors their reports. Functional managers, like department heads or project managers, also direct employees under their supervision. Directing employees may involve training them in specific roles and motivating employees to perform their tasks through incentives or other methods. The manager is usually responsible for formulating the strategy for completing certain projects or goals. After designing the strategy, they assign individual roles and monitor each employee to fulfil their responsibilities.

3. Selecting and pursuing strategic partnerships

Organizations often look for partnerships to secure resources, market share, or information to achieve their goals. An organization's manager may have the responsibility of identifying those partnerships and securing them. Managers can identify strategic partnerships through research and monitoring industry trends, and certain partnerships can also become obvious as the organization's management creates their plans. Managers often need to organize meetings or events to secure these partnerships and negotiate partnership terms in the interest of the company.

Related: What Is Strategic Management and Why Is It Important?

4. Designing and implementing an organizational structure

An organization's structure is the internal system that determines how activities occur and the hierarchy of authority. A well-defined organizational structure is important for the growth of any organization. It affects task allocation, supervision, and even collaboration. An organization's managers usually work together with their executive team to design the organization's structure. They create supervisory positions and appoint employees who report to them directly. They also define general responsibilities, create new departments, or may terminate redundant ones. Managers also make structural decisions like promotions, reassignments, and transfer of employees.

5. Setting organizational goals

It's common for organizations to have a set of well-defined goals to guide its activities and decisions. Organizational goals can be both long-term and short-term. Long-term goals relate to the ultimate vision of the company and usually inspire its mission and vision statements. Short-term goals are smaller tasks that relate to the company's vision. Organizations can set short-term goals on an annual, monthly, or quarterly basis. One of the manager's core responsibilities is to determine the organization's goals while considering various internal and external factors. They also set objectives for the organization, timelines, and key performance indicators.

6. Monitoring the progress of the company

The manager monitors all affairs of their organization or jurisdiction. To do this, they require access to information about all aspects of the organization. They get this information from updated reports, organization documents, and direct information from employees. A good manager often has reliable internal structure to ensure they can receive timely information. Managers also conduct general meetings to have discussions with employees and receive feedback on their morale and level of work satisfaction. Such meetings can help strengthen the bond between the management and its employees.

Related: 9 Types of Management Styles for Effective Leadership

7. Disseminating relevant information to stakeholders

Most organizations have stakeholders to whom the management answers. These stakeholders can be investors, a board of directors, or an individual owner. Stakeholders are often responsible for appointing the manager and paying them. The manager provides these stakeholders with relevant information about the organization and its progress. Many organizations have periodic meetings where the manager meets with relevant stakeholders and explains the current situation and prospects of the organization. Managers also frequently send update reports via other channels like email or newsletters.

8. Identifying growth opportunities for the company

Emerging economic, technological, or social trends can create new opportunities for organizations. The manager's responsibility is to keep track of those trends and identify any opportunities for the organization. Managers follow trends through professional networks, personal research, and by attending key events. A manager often needs to employ creativity when seeking opportunities, since some require more innovation.

9. Allocating and managing company resources

A manager determines how an organization uses its resources. They often have another executive responsible for finances, like the chief financial officer or accountant, but they make all the final decisions about using those resources. Managers prioritize the company's tasks and share limited resources between competing needs. To do this, managers require a foundational understanding of business financing and budgeting. They can also employ a team of financial professionals to ensure the organization maximizes its efficiency.

10. Managing internal and external disputes

As the head of an organization, the manager is also responsible for resolving any conflicts within the company. Managers often need to resolve conflicts within the management team and ensure they reach a productive compromise on all issues. They may also resolve serious internal disputes among employees through direct dispute resolution or internal restructuring to reduce conflict. Similarly, in cases of external disputes with customers, vendors, or competitors, the manager often represents the company's interests. A manager may be able to sign a settlement deal and institute a court case on behalf of their organization.

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