Large organizations usually have at least for organizational levels; executives, middle managers, and supervisors, all three of which are considered managers and non-managerial employees too. Exactly what all of these managers actually do differs somewhat by the organization they are in, the size of their firm, their industry, cultural norms, personal values and experiences, and their level in the organization's hierarchy. But they all perform the same five basic functions to some degree. Executives are responsible for supervising a group of middle managers. More importantly, they establish a vision for the organization to find its mission, develop broad strategies, set objectives and plans, and implement broad policy guidelines. Then they motivate, direct, and monitor the work of the middle managers who report to them. Middle managers plan and execute programs to carry out the objectives that are set by executives. Middle managers motivate, direct, and oversee the work of the supervisors who report to them. Supervisors normally report to middle managers. Supervisors plan, direct, motivate, and monitor the work of non-managerial employees. Their job is to get non-managerial employees to carry out the plans and policies set by executives and middle managers. Non-managerial employees work directly with customers or produce goods for sale. Examples include machinists, salesman, customer service reps, drywall hangers, thousands of others. They report the supervisors. Now, it's useful to keep in mind that these definitions are not universal. Some organizations develop and use their own terminology to describe the various types of managers and employees. For instance, in some companies, a supervisor might be called a first-line manager, a team leader, a foreman, or something else. It also depends on where you live and work. In some countries, supervisors are called overseers, for instance, but in the USA, that term has a negative connotation and it's almost never used. Exactly where do supervisors fit and what role do they play in the management process? That's a really good question. Since this course is all about giving you the tool to be an effective supervisor. Well, as it happens, supervisors play a critical, irreplaceable role since they have direct contact with non-managerial employees. In a typical organization, no other managers do that. You can easily see why having great supervisors is important. Supervisors perform exactly the same functions to a greater or lesser degree as all other managers in the organization. All managers plan, organize, staff, lead, and control to one extent or another. How do supervisory job roles differ from those at other levels of management? It turns out that all managers do the same things to different degrees. Higher level managers spend more time planning and less time directing for example. The task and responsibilities we've all talked about are usually divided into three kinds of roles. Roles are the parts played by actors on a stage, and they are also the real life parts played by managers and supervisors in an organization. These three roles can be classified into three broad types; technical, administrative, and interpersonal. Each role requires a particular set of skills. The technical role requires technical skills, such as job knowledge and knowledge of the industry and its particular processes, equipment, and problems. The administrative role requires administrative skills such as knowledge of the organization, how it's coordinated, their capacity to interact with key constituents, which we sometimes call stakeholders, and the ability to plan and control work. Finally, the interpersonal role requires good interpersonal skills, such as knowledge of human behavior and the ability to get along with, communicate, and work effectively with individuals and groups. This goes for peers and superiors, as well as subordinates. Interpersonal skills are probably the most important overall because no matter what else a supervisor needs to do, they need to understand where people are coming from, get along with them, and communicate effectively. In general, the role of the supervisor emphasizes technical and interpersonal skills most and administrative skills least. This emphasis tends to reverse itself with higher level managers, but interpersonal relations are important at all levels.