BUSI 1315 The Management Role At Heart Of Firm Homework Portfolio Answer

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Question :

Assessment Tasks and Marking Criteria

The portfolio and essay should be submitted on Moodle as two separate documents.  The questions are similar so some overlap and linkage is expected but DO NOT exactly repeat yourself.
 Portfolio 1 – all you need to complete this is done in the first 7 weeks. It is entirely possible to complete this assignment by then. The essay can also be sketched out as we go through the term. I encourage you to do this – rather than leave it all to the end.  Each of the tutorials support the assessments with discussion and tutor assistance. There is a specific assignment workshop half way through the course. 
The essay is much broader – see detailed guidance below. It is an opportunity for you to write about what you have learned and choose the content and structure yourself. We encourage you to be bold and creative and to draw on wider sources of information, not just the lecture/moodle materials. 
Description of assessment

Part 1: Portfolio: detailed information: 
 this has 3 elements and is 2,000 words in total.

  1.  Introduction and conclusion (total of 400 words)
  2. Discussion on the role of the middle manager (800 words)
  3. Some analysis from your research on   leadership style and culture in Unilever (800 words) You can do this in groups but must submit your own individual work. 

Role of Middle manager – use the first lecture and suggested reading to examine this role. Useful questions would be What is it? ,  Why is it difficult? What tensions exist in the role? Give examples of management roles in Organisations to illustrate your points. 
Leadership style and culture Do some research on Unilever plc and analyse aspects of  leadership style and culture in the firm using the material from the specific lectures.  You can bias your answer towards leadership or culture – its up to you.  

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Answer :

BUSI 1315 2020-2021: Management Practice 2

The management role at the heart of the firm

Part 1: Portfolio


Middle managers play an essential role by being the main communicators, administration head, distributing information regarding the structural and organisational revolutions and the initiatives, and policies to individuals operating in the lower departments of the company. The manner through which such messages are distributed can impact whether the initiatives can prosper or be unsuccessful (Heyden et al. 2017). Since communications can be properly transported and only if the middle manager has the idea about the change that the company is initiating (Radovic Markovic & Salamzadeh, 2018).  It is vital that middle managers have been properly trained to understand the connotation of actions and improve their decision-making skills to interact in such a system that guarantees victory to the company (MarryAnn, 2016).  Transformation is the main root of agony throughout the company, that upper administration might be far detached to understand and address the agony or the issue. From their relations with workforces, middle managers find it easier to discover the resistance and limitations to employing transformation, along with providing the workforces with a secured, safe and positive environment that will help them execute their daily responsibilities (Bhasin, 2019). Since maximum middle managers start their professions as experts and often replaces over variation of occupations, they develop robust social systems and channels. They recognise in what manner to communicate across purposeful areas to identify the skills and potentials of the employees to understand who can execute what genre of work. Types of managers

Figure 1: Types of managers 

Source: (Lumen learning, 2021)

Role of the middle managers


The middle manager phase of administration is taken to be the senior designation in the business as they ate offered a good pay structure and other benefits. Mostly, the branch and department managers originate under the designation of the middle managers. Middle managers and their management comprise setting the aims and purposes and taking decisions at every phase of the department (Szutowski, 2019). They inspire regular, weekly even fortnightly information from all their subordinate managers (Itdassessments, 2019). Middle managers and their management hold an important place since they are in charge of certain superior units along with the company crucial departments such as advertising, manufacturing, HR, accounting; also R&D. The middle managers receive commands from their seniors or higher directors, and after that, a particular strategy is implemented in order to monitor the development of the lower-level management. To attain the purposes of the organisation, they must be hardworking and conscious regarding whatever happenings taking place within a company (MarryAnn, 2016). They also create a friendly working environment in which every worker and staff is satisfied and optimistic.

Role of middle managers

Mid-manager’s role is crucial as they play different roles when they are interacting with their boss and at the same time they deal with the subordinates. Their role is crucial as a leader and a subordinate, where they often become victims of any change process in an organisation. They are under the pressure of dealing with different types of stakeholders where their leaders accept any change, and they need to convey the information to the subordinates (Anicich & Hirsh, 2017). The various kinds of stakeholders create relentless and conflicting demands as expectations from a leader are different from subordinates' traits. This switching role-play creates additional stress and anxiety for the middle manager (Anicich & Hirsh, 2017). Organisations like Amazon follows a customer-centric approach which affects the employee retention process. Amazon has the lowest employee retention as employees are often criticised and pressured to perform. A feedback mechanism is followed where co-workers have the option to identify flaws andefects (Impraise, 2021). The feedback is directly sent to the manager, and it becomes a very difficult task to handle such a situation where they have to defend their employees against any unfair acquisitions (Impraise, 2021). Every year a list is created, and employees' showing at the bottom are laid off every year. Emotional intelligence is a relevant topic in psychology that has become a predictor of potential job performance (Latif, Majoka & Khan, 2017). In such conflicting scenarios, the EI of a manager comes into play to safeguard his team members from any undue actions.  Hence, a mid-level managers' job is challenging when handling conflicting employees and dealing with the top management (Impraise, 2021).   Need for middle management

Figure 2: Need for middle management 

Source: (Scrum, 2015)

Skills required by Middle managers to perform the roles

  • Communication: The success of any company depends on how transparent and smooth is the flow of communication amongst the management heads, directors, middle managers and employees. The flow of information through the communication channel must be very smooth and transparent to ensure that the message and its purpose are served by every department of the company, which marks the success of communication (Tyler, 2016). Therefore, the middle managers are the carriers of data and information to the employees and explaining the meaning and purpose of it. 
  • Budgeting: At times, the middle managers also take the responsibility of finalising the budget, even determining the amount of budget which the company will have to bear while executing a campaign or a project. Therefore, the middle managers take the responsibility of conducting the research and finalising the estimated budget for that project. These middle managers help the company save up money as the unnecessary expenditures are strategically controlled. 
  • Decision-making: The middle managers must be very strategic and cautious while taking and formulating decisions for the company as it will largely determine its success and failure based on the decisions taken (Jaoua, 2018). Hence, the decisions of the middle managers must be based on the upcoming risks or challenges in the market approaching the company, which will help the company move forwards and eradicate them and grab the opportunities that can help the company prosper (Tyler, 2016).

Challenges of middle manager

  • External or internal: In terms of, external challenges the key risks or challenges that the middle manager experiences are identifying the challenges at the right time. Else it might greatly impact the revenue structure of the company. Failing to conduct research and development for the company results in not identifying the trends and demands of the customers, and the company fails to satisfy them (Rath, 2016). Internal challenges the most important ones that the middle managers' experiences are coordination and implementing teamwork amongst the team members. The team associates often get engaged in fights and conflicts, which degrades the environment and mental health of the employees, as a result, impacts the productivity of both the company and the employees, due to which the middle manager always must be active in terms of managing them and understanding their issues (Kharouf et al. 2020). 
  • Top management: The challenge that the middle manager experiences from the top management mainly involves the added pressure of meeting the targets of the company and forcing them to put more pressure on the employees to make the work done. Therefore, as a result, it leads to fatigue and employee attrition which again brings pressure to the middle manager (Bhasin, 2019). Another challenge that the middle manager experiences from the top management are accomplishing a project and attain the desired success with a very short deadline (Li, 2018). A relaxed temperament of the leader helps in better management of the team. A person who is aware of his temperament and reasons for stress will be more efficient in dealing with the emotional problem of the team. A stress-free leader communicates more effectively and efficiently with the team, and it also ensures better employee retention.  Stress leads to inefficiency, which will result in poor performance of the whole team. A person with emotional intelligence is valued more as compared to any other skill as it helps in identifying the needs of the team members. 

Through, this section what can be clearly understood is that the middle managers of the company play a very crucial role in determining the smooth flow of communication, operations and business activities. Individual relations with workforces, middle managers find it easier to discover the resistance. The middle managers also must execute themselves as a role model, leader and motivator for their subordinates. This indicates that middle managers are the true influencers of a company. Nevertheless, there are some potential challenges that the middle managers face in the internal, external environment also from top management. Also, limitations to employing transformation, along with providing the workforces with a secured, safe and positive environment that will help them in executing their daily responsibilities. Motivating the employees will be a necessary process for improving their job and making the best of their efforts by utilising the potential to the fullest (Vulkov, 2021). Empowering the employees through a moving process and allowing them to decide their way of doing the job will result in a productive team (Vulkov, 2021). A leader has a collective responsibility to manage the operations of a team or a branch where he is the supervisor. Hence, the motivation of the whole group is essential in order to achieve success. 

Leadership style and organisational culture in Unilever

Leadership style in Unilever 

The CEO of Unilever, Alan Jope, has been following a unique and diversified leadership style that helps him guide and direct the members of the company in the direction to make them achieve their desired results. In the viewpoint of Alan Jope, as the company progresses in leadership, also abruptly discovering itself in leading a team of which includes a huge number of employees; it is very important for the CEO or the manager to some extent adopt a different and advanced leadership style. The communication that leaders adopt must be very reliable, steady and easily understandable since if the leaders are continuously nurturing, things make everyone in the company get confused, and the execution of labour and effort remains unmet (Tesseras, 2019). Unilever has almost a customer base of 149,000 people across the globe. The company has almost 400 brand tags in almost190 countries. The company now is an international company with an international purpose. The company is trying to make a sustainable existing commonplace (Unilever, 2021). Therefore, the CEO of the company has adopted communication skills in terms of executing marketing of the company, which is very important when the leaders are referring to a large group of employees. Through this, it can be clearly understood the CEO of the company has been focusing on the Visionary style of leadership as leaders of this leadership style focus on communication and motivating employees through a shared aim.

Organizational Culture in Unilever

Unilever involves an organisational culture performing their business activities that stresses the importance of the worker output. Therefore, the stated organisational culture also indicates the importance of principles or actions utilised to control the required productivity and adequacy of production (Gregory, 2017). The organisational culture of Unilever is to focus on the performance along with the quality. Therefore, the organisational culture is visible in all the company. The corporate has fully-fledged from a minor company to a worldwide powerhouse. Hence, success is importantly constructed on the capability of Unilever's organisational culture to inculcate high and positive performance also quality in workers’ and in their work idea to make the most of commercial production. Therefore, Unilever’s leadership also decision-making methods are a feature that sustains the company’s culture (Gregory, 2017).


Therefore, the study can be concluded based on the ultimate findings of the study, where the middle managers have been properly explained, and their roles and responsibilities in every company have been explained which states revolution is the chief root to distress all over the company, that upper management might be far separate from recognising and addressing the distress or the problem. In personal relationships with employees, middle managers find it informal to realise the resistance. The middle managers also must perform in such a way through which they can be the role model, leader and motivator for their subordinates. This designates that middle managers are the sole influencers within a company. Until now, there have been some potential challenges that have been identified by the company that the middle managers experience within the internal, external atmosphere also from top management.