Levels of Management

The term “Levels of Management’ refers to a line of demarcation between various managerial positions in an organization. The number of levels in management increases when the size of the business and work force increases and vice versa. The level of management determines a chain of command, the amount of authority & status enjoyed by any managerial position. The levels of management can be classified in three broad categories:

1.) Top level / Administrative level

2.) Middle level / Executory

3.) Low level / Supervisory / Operative / First-line managers

Managers at all these levels perform different functions. The role of managers at all the three levels is discussed below:

Top Level of Management:

It consists of board of directors, chief executive or managing director. The top management is the ultimate source of authority and it manages goals and policies for an enterprise. It devotes more time on planning and coordinating functions. The role of the top management can be summarized as follows -

  • Top management lays down the objectives and broad policies of the enterprise.

  • It prepares strategic plans & policies for the enterprise.

  • It controls & coordinates the activities of all the departments.

Middle Level of Management:

The branch managers and departmental managers constitute middle level. They are responsible to the top management for the functioning of their department. They devote more time to organizational and directional functions. In small organization, there is only one layer of middle level of management but in big enterprises, there may be senior and junior middle level management. Their role can be emphasized as -

  • They execute the plans of the organization in accordance with the policies and directives of the top management.
  • They participate in employment & training of lower level management.
  • They interpret and explain policies from top level management to lower level.


Lower Level of Management:

Lower level is also known as supervisory / operative level of management. It consists of supervisors, foreman, section
officers, superintendent etc. According to R.C. Davis, “Supervisory management refers to those executives whose work
has to be largely with personal oversight and direction of operative employees”. In other words, they are concerned with
direction and controlling function of management. Their activities include -

  • Assigning of jobs and tasks to various workers.
  • They are responsible for the quality as well as quantity of production.
  • They communicate workers problems, suggestions, and recommendatory appeals etc. to the higher level and higher level
goals and objectives to the workers.

To have a look at general images describing levels of management visually, click on the following link: Levels of management