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Scope of management responsibilities.

Moser-R Jr.
Effective management of health and safety programs: a practical guide, 3rd edition. Moser R Jr., ed. Berverly Farms, MA: OEM Press, 2008 Mar; :11-18
As noted in Chapter 1, a manager's primary responsibility is to get things done, usually with and through the assistance of others [1]. The effective manager helps establish goals and objectives for the organization and then facilitates the efforts of other members of the unit to achieve the goals and accomplish the objectives. In meeting this primary responsibility, managers must be able to perform a number of diverse activities. Success as a manager depends on how well these activities are performed. This chapter provides an overview of some of these responsibilities in general, and subsequent chapters discuss selected aspects in more depth. TECHNICAL, HUMAN, AND CONCEPTUAL FUNCTIONS: Katz [2] notes that managers need a combination of capabilities, grouped into technical, human, and conceptual skills. This approach is in contrast to the concept of a "universal manager" that suggests that an individual can be an effective manager without technical (or professional) expertise in the area being managed. While some individuals may be able to function in this environment, most find it essential to have some technical skills in their areas of responsibility. One may not need to know all details of a unit's operations, but the manager who knows what questions to ask about an activity's technical aspects usually has a significant advantage over one who relies only on "management indicators" to direct a unit. The following example is illuminating. In 2007, a chief executive officer of a major clothing chain was dismissed by the board of directors because of poor performance of the chain. He was previously with a major entertainment organization involving theme parks, movies, and similar activities. He was replaced by a person who had had extensive experience in clothing apparel, including significant activities in the company he was asked to direct [3]. The subsequent upsurge in stock price indicated the "owners" recognized the value of having a manager/leader who had experience in the primary focus of the company. For the application of technical skills, an OEHS manager's expertise is typically in one of the four OEHS disciplines (occupational and environmental medicine, industrial hygiene, occupational health nursing, and safery and ergonomics), but a manager usually has knowledge of the other three areas as well. In both graduate education programs and practice settings, there is increasing emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches to OEHS activities that utilize all four disciplines. Such interaction can significantly enhance program effectiveness, and the OEHS director who is familiar with the different disciplines enjoys a distinct advantage in leading an interdisciplinary team. The same principles apply to public health and to other medical and safery programs. In addition to technical (or professional) qualifications, Katz stresses that effective managers need good "people" skills: The manager who needs to get things done through others has to be able to build teams of workers to get the work done [1,2]. Selecting the right people, motivating them, and getting them to accomplish necessary actions by linking together the "people" strategy and the operations is a daunting task [1]. Achieving desired outcomes demands effective leadership, and Chapters 7, 8, 9, and 13 address various aspects of leading an organization of productive people. In addition to working with and through others in the unit, health and safety managers must also be able to work effectively with their supervisors as well as with middle and senior management. The broader the network of contacts with whom the manager can work, the greater the manager's effectiveness.
Management-personnel; Occupational-health-programs; Occupational-safety-programs; Decision-making; Training; Education; Occupational-health; Environmental-health; Work-environment; Work-operations; Work-organization; Work-practices; Professional-workers; Group-dynamics; Technical-personnel; Occupational-medicine; Occupational-health-nursing; Industrial-hygiene; Safety-programs; Ergonomics; Environmental-medicine
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Moser-R Jr
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Effective management of health and safety programs: a practical guide, 3rd edition
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University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division