3 Management Levels in Organizational Hierarchy

3 levels of management are found in organizational hierarchy; they are the top-level management, middle-level management, and low-level management.

Top-level managers are responsible for setting goals, creating plans and supervise the entire organization.

Middle-level managers are engaged in diverting organizational activities to attain the goals set by top management.

The lower-level managers are running every work unit in the organization and carrying out the essential tasks. They are the foot soldiers of the company.

Three Levels of Management

3 Management Levels in Organizational Hierarchy

The job of a manager is practically the same. But there is a difference in a manager’s role depending on the skills, ability, strength, experience, intellectual ability etc.

So, in the organizational hierarchy, we see three levels of management.

Each level has a different set of jobs and responsibilities but all are toward fulfilling a goal.

Related: Decentralization and Centralization in Organization

Top-Level Management

Top-level managers, or top managers, are also called senior management or executives. Leaders of the organization are setting in top-level management.

These individuals are at the top one or two levels in an organization, and hold titles such as: Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Operational Officer (COO), Chief Information Officer (CIO), Chairperson of the Board, President, Vice president, Corporate head.

  • Top-level managers make decisions affecting the entirety of the firm.
  • Top managers do not direct the day-to-day activities of the firm; rather, they set goals for the organization and direct the company to achieve them.
  • Top managers are ultimately responsible for the performance of the organization, and often, these managers have very visible jobs.

Top-level managers require having very good conceptual and decision-making skills.

Related: Managers Must be a Leader: Leadership Qualities Every Project Manager Should Possess

Middle-Level Management

Middle-level managers, or middle managers, are those in the levels below top managers.

Middle managers’ job titles include General Manager, Plant manager, Regional manager, and Divisional manager.

  • Middle-level managers are responsible for carrying out the goals set by top management. They do so by setting goals for their departments and other business units.
  • Middle manager’s controls, motivate and assist first-line managers to achieve business objectives.
  • Middle managers also communicate upward, by offering suggestions and feedback to top managers. Because middle managers are more involved in the day-to-day workings of a company, they may provide valuable information to top managers to help improve the organization’s bottom line.

Middle-level managers’ job’s perfection depends very much on this communication and interpersonal skills.

Related: Difference between Leadership and Management

Lower-Level Management

First-level managers are also called first-line managers, shop-level managers, or supervisors.

These managers have job titles such as office manager, Shift Supervisor, Department manager, Foreperson, Crew leader, Store manager.

  • First-line managers are responsible for the daily management of line workers—the employees who actually produce the product or offer the service.
  • There are first-line managers in every work unit in the organization. Although first-level managers typically do not set goals for the organization, they have a very strong influence on the company. These are the managers that most employees interact with on a daily basis, and if the managers perform poorly, employees may also perform poorly, may lack motivation, or may leave the company.

A First-level manager requires having technical skill knowledge for the particular work that he is supervising.