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In the piece written by Katz, it is argued that the skills of an effective administrator (leader) can be learned as opposed to the common belief that it is something someone is born with. Davies & Easterby-Smith in their article then argue that learning and developing occurs through work experiences. I recognised that these readings amalgamate into an expectation that some learning has been taken from the course. Feeling the pressure now, I wrack my brain searching for some kind of personal development that has taken place during this oh-so-stressful course and when nothing comes, I instead look to where I have failed and realise, via Katz, that without technical skill I cannot expect to be an effective administrator alone.

According to Katz (1955 pg 91), technical skill "implies an understanding of and proficiency in a specific kind of activity". Katz believes this is the most straightforward skill to develop. For instance a builder learns how to build or a surgeon learns how to operate before they mange others doing so. This is meant to be the first stage to becoming an efficient executive and this is where I went wrong. By not spending enough time at the start of the course developing this skill, I have not been an effective team member. However this ins't quite as bad as it sounds. I am the human resources manager for my Mikesbikes team as you would expect, my strengths lie in human skill which Katz (1955 pg 91) describes as "the ability to work effectively as a group member and to build a cooperative effort within the team he leads." I think im pretty good with people, helping team members out when they need it, solving issues or arguments and making sure the team - as a group of individual people - runs smoothly. Overall, I think I've done ok at my job. Not great, but ok and the reason for that I believe is that my technical skill wasn't developed appropriately early on in the course. Without technical skill for instance, my knowledge of operations or marketing is not good enough to understand problems or help out with any of their decisions. I am telling my team members to work together to match projected demand with production while I myself have no idea what that means.

This is a tough situation to be in however. In the real world a human resources manager has years to develop their appropriate technical skill before they are required to use their human skill. Yet Human resource mangers are meant to have been able to do the same for Mikesbikes in a few weeks? This has an easy fix according to Katz. By teaming up with other administrators with complementary skills (1955) (such as my CEO) we can facilitate improvements for our team such as increased communications between departments. This wont make myself as an individual better at my job, but could help my team do better in Mikesbikes which, lets face it, at this stage is all I care about. With my human and his technical skill who knows, it might be time for a comeback.

 

Davies, J., & Easterby-Smith, M. (1984). Learning and developing from managerial work experiencesJournal of Management Studies, 21(2), 169--182. 

Katz, R. L. (1955). Skills of an effective administratorHarvard Business Review, 33(1), 33--42.

2 Comments

  1. Hi Angus,

    I liked your approach to your journal this week, where you strived to find a meaningful avenue to direct your attention towards for this weeks readings.  Overall, the message was clear.  You recognise that you may lack the technical skills that may have aided your team further within the Mikes Bikes simulation and therefore, need to develop this by coordinating your efforts with your other team mates.  I know as the human resources manager of my team that our role appears to be the simplest one, but realistically all the roles have an equal amount of technical and human resources that we need to develop and maintain in order for our teams to succeed, which can be difficult at times!  My criticism for your journal is simply that at times it did not make sense and the quotes did not add to your writing.  I got confused at the point where you mention "...that it is not as bad as it sounds...".  This may be because the grammar around this point is a little shaky, but your point gets lost here until another couple of sentences through where you realise that you are talking about your human and contextual abilities in comparison to your technical ones.  If you were to make this point clearer without the quote it would add further meaning towards your journal.  Lastly, the quotes were nice, but they were not necessary.  It would of been nice if you had simply paraphrased and intwined this within your writing, which would of made your journal read with more fluidity.  

    Overall, a good journal with a few minor spelling and grammatical mistakes.  

    Good luck for the rest of the rollovers!

  2. It was good how you applied the readings to your specific situation as HR manager. There were a few minor errors and if you had of tidied these up the journal would have been a better read, perhaps do a quick proof-read next time. Do you think your role is still valid at this stage of the competition or do you feel lost as HR manager because I know I do and I would have loved to know your opinion? Do you feel as if your team are still motivated, or are there ways to improve group dynamics? what things do you need to do from now on in? I just think it would have been cool if you had of talked about the competition are bit more and the problems you need to solve and how you would go about doing so. i think this would have put you at a higher stage of Daudelins framework and the reflections should be looking at your current situation and the past few weeks of the competition.

    Still its a great read and im glad that you addressed the readings in depth. (smile) good luck with everything!