Purpose: To have an opportunity to learn from experience by talking with a manager.
Activity: Interview a manager, any manager, to learn about his/her roles, skills, challenges and issues that are important in the workplace today and in the future. The manager can be your current manager, a former manager, a family member or a friend who is a manager, a manager at a local business, a manager at any level. For the purposes of this paper a manager is anyone who supervises employees or volunteers. This needs to be an interview done for this class – it is a violation of academic integrity to “recyle” previous assignments without the instructor’s knowledge and permission.
Discuss with that manger:
- Their manager level, title, and number of employees s/he manages.
- Their roles (use Mintzberg’s roles from the text as your guide).
- The skills needed to complete these roles (using Katz as your guide).
- Their current greatest challenge today; greatest challenge over the next 5 years or so.
- The most critical issue in the workplace today; critical issue over the next 5 years or so.
- Two other topics of your choosing, broad or narrow, similar or different – it doesn’t matter to me, just pick two topics that you are interested and/or topics that same pertinent to the business/manager at hand. Include these topics in your interview and in your write-up.
- Basic information about the company [basic financial information of available (e.g., revenue…), number of employees, product or service].
What you will need to submit below (through SafeAssign):
1. The Manager’s name and contact information (organization, title, address and phone).
2. The responses to 1-7 above, and your thoughts on the manager’s responses.
The format of the write-up:
The format is up to you. You can transcribe the interview. For example:
“ Your Name”: What is your managerial level?
“ Manager’s Name”: I am a mid-level manager and my title is…
Or you can write it in a case study format: At “Company Name”, “ Manager Name” is a mid-level manager who is faced with the challenges…
I am always flexible on page length (content is more important to me – I will be looking for responses to 1-7 above), but I would expect around 4-5 pages, double-spaced, 1 inch margins, 12-point font size. Please include your name in the first line of the body of your report.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Who is considered to be a manager?
A: For this assignment a manager is anybody who supervises at least one employee or volunteer.
Q: Can I interview a manager from a non-profit or volunteer organization?
A: Yes, the same principles should apply in volunteer and non-profit organizations as they do in for-profit organizations.
Q: Can I interview a relative (parent, sibling, cousin…) who is a manager?
Q: Can I interview an old/current manager of mine?
Q: I am, or have been, a manager. Can I interview myself?
A: No. I would like you to reflect on how you and someone else views being a manager.
Q: The manager that I want to interview is out of state. Can I do a phone interview?
A: Yes, you can do a phone (or Skype) interview as long as it is live and interactive. You may not do your interview via email – I expect some back and forth discussion to occur during the interview and this cannot happen through email.
Q: I have done an interview like this before for another class. Can I look at my old notes when creating my assignment?
A: No. The interview needs to be done this semester for this class.