Definition of Strategic Manager
Managers are the linchpin in the strategy making process. Individual managers must take responsibility for formulating strategies to attain a competitive advantage and putting those strategies into effect through implementation. They must lead the strategy making process. In most companies, there are two primary types of managers.
2. Functional Managers
General managers, who bear responsibility for the overall performance of the company or for one of its major self contained subunit or divisions.
Functional managers, who are responsible for supervising a particular function; that is, a task, an activity, or an operation such as accounting, marketing, research and development (R&D), information technology, or logistics. Put differently, general managers have profit and loss responsibility for a product, a business, or the company as a whole.
A company is a collection of functions or departments that work together to bring a particular good or service to the market. A company that provides several different goods or service often duplicates functions and creates self contained divisions to manage each good or service. The general managers of these divisions become responsible for their particular product line.
Level of Strategic Management & Managers:
Corporate Level Managers: The corporate level of management consists of the chief executive officer (CEO), other senior executives, and corporate staff. The CEO is the principal general manager. In consultation with other senior executives, the role of corporate level managers is to oversee the development of strategies for the whole organization. This role includes define the goals of the organization, determining what business it should be in, allocating resources among the different businesses, formulating and implementing strategies that span individual businesses, and providing leadership for the entire organization. Corporate level managers also provide a link between the people who oversee the strategic development of a firm and those who own it.
Business Level Managers: A business unit is a self contained division that provides a product or service for a particular market. The principal general manager at the business level, or the business level manager, is the head of the division. The strategic role of these managers is to translate the general statements of direction and intent from the corporate level into concrete strategies for individual business. Whereas corporate level general managers are concerned with strategies that span individual businesses, business level general managers are concerned with strategies that are specific to a particular business.
Functional Level Managers: Functional level managers are responsible for the specific business functions or operations (human resource, purchasing, product development, logistics, production, customer service, and so on) found within a company or one of its divisions. Thus, a functional manager’s sphere of responsibility is generally confined to one organizational activity, whereas general managers oversee the operation of an entire company or division. Although they are not responsible for the overall performance of the organization, functional managers nevertheless have major strategic role; to develop functional strategies in their areas that help fulfill the strategic objectives set by business and corporate level general managers.