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 Since 1955 companies have been trying to identify personality traits of the ideal executive. It is probably the reason many of us chose to do a management major as we believed this paper would teach us the personality traits that we would need to become an effective manager. ‘Skills of an effective administrator’ by Robert Katz was directed away from trying to identify personality traits of the ideal executive and towards the question “what observable skills does an effective executive demonstrate?” Katz believed that management’s real concern should be what the administrator can do rather than what he is. He identifies three skills that every executive must have and these are technical, human, and conceptual. Before this paper I feel I only had some knowledge in terms of the human aspect, but I feel it is hard to become an administrator/executive by using MikesBikes as other aspects are hard to learn using this simulation.

Conceptual is the main aspect proposed by Katz that I feel is difficult to grasp through MikesBikes. The conceptual aspect involves the ability to see the organisation as a whole, and recognizing how various parts of the organisation depend on one another. At the beginning of the paper, Mr Smith informed us that the smartest way to work as a group is for each member to work almost entirely on their own roles. My role in Life Cycle is R&D (something that I have never done before therefore I have little knowledge in terms of the technical aspect), and I do most of this role by myself as Mr Smith suggested, however, whilst I am doing this I feel I am not grasping the conceptual side as I don’t often have the ability to see the group as a whole. I don’t usually get to see how other people make their choices but rather just get informed on what they think is the best decision. Although this method may save time as we improve our technical aspects and become better and faster at our own jobs, I don’t really see the benefits of working by oneself as we lose the ability to improve the human and conceptual aspects at the same time.

I believe the idea of one person solely doing one role in the company is not the best method if we want to become managers – which I assume doing management as a major, many of us do. Doing one role makes you specialised in that one technical aspect, but if you want to become good at something like finance or marketing, then you should possibly take those majors instead of management. I think the best method is to have an understanding of all the roles in your group because this is more likely to occur if/when you have to manage a company in the future. Normally you will have specialists in each area that will be able to help you, but I see a manager not as somebody who often has a lot of skill in one area, but rather in a range of areas including human aspects which builds towards the conceptual aspect that Katz identifies. I would like to see our group do more of this and so I will suggest my ideas and see how they react to my opinions (although it is a bit late on now in the semester and probably would have been smarter at the start of the paper).


  1. Hi Timothy,

    You have indulged yourself and your thoughts into the reading this week by Robert Katz and I really enjoyed it. I particularly enjoyed your journal from the second paragraph onwards where you discuss the conceptual aspect by Katz. I agree that we don't see the benefits of working by yourself and we are in a team so it would make more sense if everyone worked together. I'm not sure how far you go when performing R&D but for myself I also look after the planned production so of our current bikes. Maybe you could look at doing this too as you would also have to incorporate work from HR (how many employees you need to produce bike), and marketing (target audience you are trying to attract). 

    The conceptual aspect also discusses seeing the organization as a whole. Maybe interacting with other key team players you might be able to see the organization more as a 'whole'.

    I would also like to note in your final paragraph you talk about understanding all the roles. Here I also agree that you need to know the basics of all the roles in order to perform your role to the highest standard. Therefore maybe further engagement will help as by the sounds of it your team is concentrated on performing each role individually.

    Otherwise was nice to read a journal from the same manager as me. All the best for rest of the semester.


  2. Hi Timothy,

    Awesome reflection bro. Your critical thought and ability to reflect on inconsistencies between the theoretical framework and the approach taken by your team is really acute. It is clear to me that you are getting significant experience in following a process of identifying challenges, analysing relevant theories and proposing practical ways of improving efforts, and this is clearly paying off. 

    Adopting a sound approach to referencing could be one way of improving your reflection journals. That's more of a technical thing. I think you will have a really rich journal by the end of the course.