Manager (economy)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A manager or a manager (of English to manage "handle accomplish, conduct") is a person in the employment relationship , the management tasks in an organization is responsible. Your most important tasks are planning , organization, (corporate) management and control .

Word origin

The word "manager" appears in German in the 19th century to mean "director, head of a stage" (previously: impresario ), at the beginning of the 20th century it also means "head of an economic unit (company, department) ". The underlying English verb to manage is derived from the Italian maneggiare (“handle, use, direct”), which contains the Latin manus (“hand”).


The terms manager and executive are often used synonymously, although they differ in terms of tasks and competencies . Anyone entrusted with management tasks is called a manager. He needed especially management skills , while managers, particularly on leadership skills must have. In Anglo-Saxon countries, however, the manager is not usually a manager with personnel responsibility , but a - possibly with technical supervision authority entrusted - line manager . In Germany, too, the term manager is now used to refer to people without personnel responsibility (“facility manager” is a caretaker , “sales manager” is a salesperson , “account manager” is a customer service representative , “risk manager” is a financial analyst ).

The leadership tasks of management and a manager include organization , planning , goal setting , decision-making , delegation , coordination , information , employee evaluation and control . In business administration , these activities are summarized under the dispositive factor . For Konrad Mellerowicz , only one person is allowed to take on a management role ( unipersonal management ) because the entrepreneur "has ultimate responsibility for the entire company". By this, however, he means that only substantial business decisions are reserved for the entrepreneur, because he also transfers management tasks and management responsibility to the subordinate organizational units of middle and lower management by way of delegation .


After the hierarchical level , a distinction top managers ( English top managers : Board , management ), middle managers ( English Middle Manager : Department Head , manager ) and lower manager ( English Lower manager : group leader , team leader , master , foreman ). In the specialist literature , the term manager sometimes has a narrower meaning if it is restricted to top management .

After working areas are in connection with important operational functions, especially procurement management , production management , product management , personnel management , facilities management , financial management , risk management , quality management or sales management . The executives working in these functional areas are called procurement managers, etc.

Roles of the manager according to Mintzberg (1973)

The manager's tasks and main areas of activity are derived from the activity profile. According to Henry Mintzberg , the activities of a manager can be classified into three groups of roles:

  1. Interpersonal roles are the roles that the manager must perform in order to form the group identity . He is the proponent of the group and the group is perceived through his person. Internally, he must fulfill the management function and also ensure the internal cohesion of the group.
  2. Informational roles are the roles required to collect, interpret, and distribute information.
  3. Decision-making roles are those roles in which the exercise of power is in the foreground. This does not mean that these decisions are made alone, but only that the manager usually has "the last word" in these matters ( primus inter pares ).

Functions of the manager according to Fayol (1916)

In contrast to the roles that a manager has to assume according to Henry Mintzberg (1973), one can also consider five functions of a manager according to Henri Fayol . They are:

  1. Plan (+),
  2. Organize (as preparation for action),
  3. Instruct (+),
  4. Coordinate (the action itself),
  5. Check (to determine the success of the action).

According to Fayol, the functions should follow 14 management principles:

  1. Division of labor ,
  2. Authority and responsibility ,
  3. Discipline ,
  4. Unit of order placement ,
  5. Unity of management ,
  6. Subordination of the individual interest to the overall interest,
  7. Remuneration of staff,
  8. Centralization ,
  9. Scalar chain (command hierarchy from top to bottom),
  10. Order ,
  11. Justice ,
  12. Stable management team,
  13. Initiative,
  14. french esprit de corps .

Managers in Modern Organizations: Younger Perspectives on Organizational Theory

Newer organizational theoretical models no longer assume, like Fayol, that planning, organizing, coordinating and controlling are the functions of the manager. Mintzberg has proven, for example through empirical studies, that management activity in a non-monopoly environment (i.e. in markets) does not create reflective planners, etc. Managers work under time pressure, are more action-oriented than goal-oriented ( Karl E. Weick ), tend to stick to so-called soft data such as rumors, gossip and speculation and often have to find that the success of their measures depends on factors that cannot be controlled, inside and outside depends on the organization in which you work.

The function of the manager from the perspective of systems-theoretical organizational sociology

The sociological systems theory sees the complexity of the organization of the reason is that the decisions of individual managers can not be seamlessly translated into the decisions of the organization. As a social system , the organization constantly monitors itself and decides according to its own rules which intentions of individual managers in the system are treated as compatible and whether organizational structures are then changed or not.

Accordingly, the function of the manager in the “ post-classical organization ” consists in observing the organization for his part to see whether it is still pursuing the right strategy in relation to constantly changing environments (here: markets) . Organizations observe deviations, reinforce them (this is called innovation) or try to correct them. The manager's function is to vary the differences he / she has set himself (e.g. making a lot or little profit, processing orders quickly or slowly, taking high or just permissible security precautions, etc.) ( Niklas Luhmann ). Whether the ongoing changes can also be controlled (in the sense of minimizing differences) ultimately also depends on the social relationship between manager and subordinate.

The executive of the manager: from a management-sociological perspective a question of authority

If managers are viewed as executives, then representatives of organizational psychology or management theory usually assume special competencies that characterize the manager as a person. Leadership then appears as a skill that a manager can have or at least learn, and a context-sensitive leadership style is recommended (e.g. participatory vs. authoritarian ).

From a social science perspective, leadership style is the result of a leadership relationship between the manager and his employees. It arises on the basis of mutual expectations and obligations - and not: because it is unilaterally claimed. From this perspective, it is therefore a natural thought that the employees also lead their superiors, that one has to reckon with leadership “from above” as well as “from below”.

What kind of leadership relationship is realized depends in essence on the question of whether and how the manager authority of subordinates assigned is, and on the question of whether and how such a problematic interaction ratio can be made permanent. Because the assignment of authority is largely voluntary - it cannot be forced - and can be withdrawn at any time. There are many reasons for such an assignment, but it can be mutually beneficial. For example, employees free themselves from part of the uncertainty that characterizes every decision-making process by relying on the superior. And, despite the persistence of the power asymmetry , they temporarily get into a position in which they can withdraw something from the leader, in whose continuity he is likely to develop an interest: the benefit for him is an increase in valuable design options and the recognition on the part of employees .

In this way, until revoked by one of the two parties, a relationship of authority “characterized by communicative efficiency and effectiveness” can arise, “which leads to the prerequisites for successful leadership and subsequent change management ” ( Markus Pohlmann : Management undführung. A management-sociological perspective. P . 16) must be counted.

Key qualifications for managers

There are five areas of key qualifications for managers:

  • professional qualification (matter),
  • conceptual qualification (goal setting),
  • methodical qualification (implementation),
  • communicative qualification (dealing with people),
  • social responsibility (morals and ethics).

Conflict of goals owner vs. Manager

The principal-agent theory reveals a conflict of interest between management and owner (which does not, however, have to cancel the one between owner and worker). Examples from the recent past, such as the process surrounding the takeover of Mannesmann AG and the severance payments paid for the top managers, can serve as an indication of this.

In the sense of the principal-agent theory, the manager, in contrast to the owner, tends to behave that primarily aims at short-term success. Studies have also shown that manager-led companies tend to increase sales rather than profit and that the proportion of voluntary fringe benefits is significantly higher in these companies. Another conflict of interest arises in the case of luxurious consumption at work (private jets, expensive company cars, etc.), which can lower the potential dividend for the owner. In the worst case, the managers exploit the owners (although the classic, Marxist concept of exploitation is not used here; therefore it would be more precise to say: taking advantage).

The following possible solutions are available for the incentive problems that result from the separation of ownership and decision:

  • classic control
  • Set incentives (e.g. in the form of variable / performance-based remuneration)

Control functions are performed by:



  • Banks
  • Capital market
  • Auditors
  • Employee representatives
  • Goods market
  • Manager market
  • Takeover market

Manager pay

The often high remuneration of managers is a subject of public controversy: Left-wing organizations or organizations close to employees in particular accuse them of greed, callousness, corruption and acting against the common good (mass layoffs, wage dumping, outsourcing of jobs to low-wage countries). On the other hand, companies and related organizations are of the opinion that only top employees can be recruited with a top salary. Theoretically, the remuneration received by dependent employees is determined by the desirability of their work. Very successful managers are sometimes courted by several companies; there may be a bidding competition. It is hoped that what they do and what they will not do will generate additional corporate success that more than outweighs their salary. In many cases, cost reductions and increases in efficiency certainly contribute to the economic success of a company. However, they often go hand in hand with mass layoffs, lower labor costs or the outsourcing of company departments to other countries. Such measures are in direct contrast to the interests of the employees.

Peter Drucker's sentence from 1984 that a manager - a non-profit organization - should only earn 20 times the salary of its lowest-paid worker ( a company's CEO should make no more than 20 times the salary of its lowest-paid worker. ) has been and is often quoted.

The size of the area of ​​responsibility plays a crucial role in determining manager salaries. On average worldwide, board members in companies with more than 100,000 employees earn 1.35 million euros gross per year. Half of this amount is made up of the basic salary of 660,000 euros and a bonus of 690,000 euros. In addition to the cash salary, there are so-called long-term incentives, mostly in the form of stock options. Their value is on average 393,100 euros in the USA and 76,500 euros in Western Europe per year.

Situation in Germany

From 1987 to 2007, the remuneration of the board members of DAX companies rose by an average of around 650%. In 1987 a board member earned an average of 445,800 euros , in 2007 it was 3.33 million euros. Manager salaries differ significantly depending on the size of the company. Managing directors in companies with 200 to 300 employees earn an average of 215,000 euros gross per year including bonuses in Germany. The board of directors of a company with between 20,000 and 50,000 employees earns EUR 814,000 gross per year including bonus. A board member of a group with more than 100,000 employees achieves an average annual gross income of 1,441,000 euros plus 95,000 euros stock options.

In Germany, the ratio of manager salaries to the average salary of other company employees in 1987 was 14: 1, in 2006 it was 44: 1. Since salaries have increased even when companies were not making a profit, the increase cannot be attributed to performance. The way in which manager salaries are set is seen as a possible reason for the rise in manager salaries: namely by comparing them with other manager salaries in so-called benchmarking .

In March 2009, the German government (black-red coalition) decided on regulations to limit manager salaries. According to this, executive board salaries should in future be determined by the entire supervisory board and not just by a partial committee. Stock options may in future be redeemed at the earliest after four years. Jürgen Rüttgers and the Rüttgers cabinet initiated the WDR law in 2009 ; it was passed in 2009. On the basis of this law z. B. the income of the WDR director disclosed.

The opposition parties in the Bundestag (SPD, Greens and Die Linke) made manager salaries a campaign topic in the 2013 Bundestag election . In March 2013, Chancellor Merkel took a position and declared "Excessiveness should not be allowed". The black-yellow coalition wants to quickly regulate the remuneration of executives.

Situation in Switzerland

In 2013, the Swiss federal popular initiative “Against rip-offs” was overwhelmingly accepted, which suggested that in a democracy there is no understanding for high manager wages. However, this assumption was put into perspective by the equally clear rejection of the 1:12 initiative , which demanded a limit on manager salaries.

On the basis of this popular initiative, a new federal ordinance was introduced, which, however, was watered down in the Swiss parliament, contrary to the intentions of the initiators. Although this regulation brought better transparency to the remuneration of executives, it was unable to prevent excesses in manager remuneration. The causes for the related market failure were described by the Swiss economist Beat Kappeler . The salaries and bonuses would be determined and waved through by a decision cascade of the board of directors , its compensation committee and the mostly dominant major shareholders. These decision-makers relied on the usual . The market plays too little, because these decision-makers receive high salaries themselves and want to keep this in their environment. A well-organized group that is familiar with one another, including appropriate external consultants, has great advantages. Kappeler makes a suggestion: the board of directors of a company should ask several candidates to communicate their compensation expectations. Then they would be informed of the lowest offer in a second round. You should then make another offer, which would probably be lower.

Situation in the USA

In the United States, the ratio of managerial salaries to the average salary was 35: 1 in 1980 and 319: 1 in 2008. According to this, a manager in the USA earns 319 times as much as the average employee. One possible reason for the differences is seen in the widespread practice of benchmarking .

The highest paid managers (at least until the 2007 financial crisis ) were the managers of hedge funds . "[...] Ranged in 2002 for 30 million dollars to make it onto the list of the 25 highest-paid manager, in 2007 already million 360 dollars ." The leader was in 2007 John Paulson 3,700 million US dollars .

In February 2009 the (then new) US administration under Barack Obama decided to introduce an upper limit for manager salaries for companies that receive “extraordinary” government aid. In these companies, top managers will in future be allowed to earn a maximum of US $ 500,000 per year. The best known such company was General Motors .

Gender distribution in management

Proportion of women on executive boards and supervisory boards

According to a study by the German Institute for Economic Research in 2009, 2.5% of the board members of the 200 companies with the highest turnover in Germany outside the financial sector were women (21 of 833). The only CEO of the 200 companies examined was the then head of Ikea Germany, Petra Hesser .

On the boards of the 30 DAX companies , of the 194 board positions to be filled, 15 are currently held by women. This corresponds to a share of 7.73 percent. (As of March 14, 2013). For comparison, up to April 2010 only one position was occupied by a woman ( Barbara Kux at Siemens ). → Article: List of women on the supervisory boards of DAX companies

On the supervisory boards of the 30 DAX companies , 102 of the 488 supervisory board positions to be filled are held by women. This corresponds to a share of 20.9 percent. (As of March 25, 2013). → Article: List of women on the supervisory boards of DAX companies

In March 2010, Telekom announced: Deutsche Telekom will be the first Dax 30 company to introduce a quota for women. By the end of 2015, 30 percent of the top and middle management positions in the company should be filled by women. The regulation applies worldwide. In addition to expanding its talent pool, Deutsche Telekom expects greater added value for the company in the long term through more diversity in management.

91% of the large banks and 80% of the insurance companies have no women on the executive boards. The proportion of women is 2.3 percent at the large banks and 3.2 percent at the large insurance companies.

In Switzerland, where the commercial register is publicly accessible free of charge and the population is very reserved about any kind of quotas, the development at the owner and management level can be easily understood. The proportion of female company founders rose from 15% in 2000 to 27% in 2010. In companies with up to 250 employees, the proportion of women is now 40%, in larger companies it has risen to 13%. In the Swiss government, the Federal Council , the proportion has grown to over 50%, and the proportion has also increased in other political bodies. According to the commercial register, companies run by women are less likely to become insolvent. However, this correlation does not have to be causality ; it can also be a spurious correlation .

In a European comparison, the proportion of women in management positions is highest in the Scandinavian countries. In Norway , at least 40% of board members must be women. This law has been in effect since January 1, 2004 for state-controlled companies and since January 1, 2006 also for listed stock corporations. Companies that do not comply with the law face compulsory liquidation after a transitional period (see also implementation of women's quotas in Europe ).

Correlation with economic indicators and other factors

The McKinsey study Women Matter According to have companies with a higher proportion of women on the board, but at least three women, significantly higher corporate earnings than the industry average. The Catalyst Institute showed a similar correlation with regard to the return on equity of large listed companies.

In 2014, a study of 125,000 Swedish companies examined whether the economic success of companies correlated with the gender of the CEOs and CEOs. The study was intended to support the thesis that companies run by women are more successful, but came to the opposite conclusion - even after factoring out typical industry differences.

In the results of two comparisons between female managers and their equally well-qualified female employees and between (male) managers and their equally well-qualified female employees, managers were primarily characterized by a higher level of leadership motivation regardless of gender, but other primary differences differed depending on gender: female Superiors differ from their female employees in that they are more flexible and team-oriented, whereas male superiors differ from their male employees in terms of assertiveness and resilience.

Possible explanations for the comparatively lower proportion of women in management include, for example, different competitive behavior between men and women, a culture of presence that is prevalent in companies , a poor work-life balance and a different participation of men and women in networks . The German Institute for Economic Research stated: “The dominance of men in management levels has meant that male living environments are the norm here. This includes long working hours and a high level of professional availability . ”Another reason could be the lower number of women graduating in the subjects that are perceived as management trainees. In addition, higher levels of the hierarchy in companies are held by women. Reached later, caused by the so-called career kink due to child-rearing periods combined with temporary job or part-time work.

Trust in managers

A survey from 2011 (GfK Trust Index 2011) about the trust of citizens in 20 different professional groups and organizations showed that the image of managers has improved somewhat, but they are still in penultimate place and thus only slightly ahead of the managers lower-ranking politicians.

See also


Social background, education and career:

  • Michael Hartmann : The myth of the performance elite. Top careers and social origins in business, politics, justice and science , Frankfurt / New York: Campus, 2002, ISBN 3-593-37151-0
  • Rakesh Khurana: From Higher Aims to Hired Hands: The Social Transformation of American Business Schools and the Unfulfilled Promise of Management as a Profession , Princeton University Press, 2007, ISBN 0-691-12020-X
  • Dietrich von der Oelsnitz, Volker Stein, Martin Hahmann: The talent war. Personnel strategy and education in the global battle for highly qualified people. Haupt-Verlag 2007
  • Markus Pohlmann and Stefan Bär: careers without borders? Highly qualified staff and top managers in economics and medicine . In: Austrian Journal for Sociology . tape 34 , no. 4 , 2009, p. 13-40 ( online ).

Job and family:

  • Renate Liebold : "My wife manages the whole life at home ...". Partnership and family from the perspective of male managers . WDV, 2001 ( table of contents [PDF]).
  • Petra Notz: Manager marriages. Between career and family , Konstanz: UVK, 2004, ISBN 3-89669-510-X
  • Cristina Reis: Men Working as Managers in a European Multinational Company (paperback), Mering: Rainer Hampp, 2004, ISBN 3-87988-862-0

Women in management:

Management gurus:

  • David Greatbatch, Timothy Clark: Management Speak: The Live Oratory of Management Gurus (paperback), Taylor & Francis, 2005, ISBN 0-415-30623-X - Analysis of the rhetorical strategies of management gurus


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Duden editors : Origin of "manager" and "manage". In: Language knowledge - language and style. Undated, accessed July 1, 2019.
  2. Manager. In: Digital dictionary of the German language . Retrieved July 1, 2019
  3. Wolfgang H. Staehle : Management: A behavioral perspective. 8th edition, 1999, p. 192.
  4. Maximilian Lackner: Talent-Management Spezial , 2014, p. 12 ( ).
  5. ^ Klaus Altfelder / Hans G. Bartels / Joachim-Hans Horn / Heinrich-Theodor Metze, Lexicon of corporate management. 1973, p. 83.
  6. ^ Konrad Mellerowicz, corporate policy. Volume 1, 1963, p. 31.
  7. Reinhard Höhn / Gisela Böhme, Management Brevier der Wirtschaft. 1974, p. 9 f.
  8. ^ Fritz Neske: Article Management. In: ders./Markus Wiener (ed.): Management-Lexikon. Volume II, 1985, p. 761.
  9. Erich Frese: Management. In: Wolfgang Lück: Lexicon of business administration. 1983, p. 746 f.
  10. ^ Henry Mintzberg: The Nature of Managerial Work. 1973.
  11. ^ Henry Fayol, Administration industrial et générale. Paris 1916.
  12. ^ Stuart Crainer: Key management ideas, the thinkers who change the way we manage. Third edition, London / Edinburgh Gate, Prentice Hall, 1998.
  13. See Mintzberg: The Nature of Managerial Work.
  14. a b Markus Pohlmann : Management and leadership. A management sociological perspective . In: Professional Association of German Sociologists e. V. (Ed.): Social sciences and professional practice . tape 30 , no. 1 , 2007, p. 15 .
  15. Niklas Luhmann, 2002; Introduction to Systems Theory , ed. by Dirk Baecker, Heidelberg, 2002
  16. ^ Markus Pohlmann: Management and leadership. A management sociological perspective . In: Professional Association of German Sociologists e. V. (Ed.): Social sciences and professional practice . tape 30 , no. 1 , 2007, p. 15th f .
  17. See Dirk Baecker : Postheroic Management . A vademecum. Merve, Munich 1994, ISBN 3-88396-117-5 .
  18. ^ Markus Pohlmann: Management and leadership. A management sociological perspective . In: Professional Association of German Sociologists e. V. (Ed.): Social sciences and professional practice . tape 30 , no. 1 , 2007, p. 16 .
  19. W. Sarges: Management Diagnostics. Göttingen / Toronto / Zurich, 1990, ISBN 3-8017-0346-0 , p. 165 ff.
  20. ^ Peter Drucker: Managing The Non-Profit Organization , Oxford, 1990.
  21. Kristian Klooss: Salary Study: The highest earners of the global corporations. In: September 17, 2013, accessed June 12, 2019.
  22. ^ Message: Dax board members: 650 percent more salary in 20 years. In: June 30, 2008, accessed June 12, 2019.
  23. Wirtschaftswoche October 7, 2013: Manager salaries - The remuneration of the top management rises significantly
  24. a b Florian Rötzer : Why have manager salaries skyrocketed in the last few decades? In: Telepolis . September 19, 2010, accessed June 12, 2019.
  25. Message: How much must, how much can be? ( Memento from March 5, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) In: March 4, 2009. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  26. Top of the coalition resolves stricter rules for manager salaries ,
  27. August 4, 2013: TV directors: Buhrow gets 367,232 euros a year
  28. March 13, 2013: Merkel warns against excessive manager salaries
  29. Announcement: Referendum prevents changes: Swiss say no three times. In: n-tv. November 24, 2013, accessed July 20, 2020 .
  30. Beat Kappeler: Finally tackle the bonus problem at the root - with bidding rounds . NZZ, June 11, 2020, accessed on June 11, 2020.
  31. Hedge fund managers make billions. John Paulson receives 3.7 billion dollars and refers George Soros to second place , FAZ, April 17, 2008, p. 23
  32. ^ The construction sites of financial regulation ( Memento from June 20, 2009 in the Internet Archive ), Financial Times Germany.
  33. Press release: Deutsche Telekom is the first Dax 30 company to introduce a women's quota for management. ( Memento from December 9, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) In: March 15, 2010, accessed June 12, 2019.
  34. Message: Men continue to dominate in boardrooms. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. January 28, 2010, p. 12.
    Federal Ministry for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth, Baden-Baden (Ed.): Management Monitor 2001–2006 (= research series. Volume 7). 2nd Edition. Nomos, Baden-Baden 2009, ISBN 978-3-8329-4628-9 , pp. 130 ff. ( PDF: 7.0 MB, 185 pages ( Memento of October 7, 2009 in the Internet Archive )).
  35. The slightly different statistics , moneyhouse, November 2, 2011.
  36. ^ Federal Statistical Office , Switzerland: Elections - Indicators: Women in the elections - federal level. ( Memento of August 2, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Status: 2011, accessed on June 12, 2019.
  37. For an international comparison see Management Monitor 2001–2006. P. 144 ff.
  38. Norwegian support measures for women in management positions. (No longer available online.) In: Formerly in the original ; Retrieved March 30, 2010 .  ( Page no longer available , search in web archives )@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / No archive version found on July 20, 2020.
  39. Monika Henn: Women can do everything - except for a career. Harvard Business Manager 3/2009, September 18, 2009, p. 1 , accessed January 30, 2010 . P. 1
  40. Sebastian Balzter: Female bosses make less profit. In: March 12, 2014, accessed May 6, 2014 .
  41. Monika Henn: Women can do everything - except for a career. Harvard Business Manager 3/2009, September 18, 2009, p. 2 , accessed January 30, 2010 . P. 2
  42. Monika Henn: Women can do everything - except for a career. Harvard Business Manager 3/2009, September 18, 2009, pp. 5-6 , accessed January 30, 2010 . P. 5 , p. 6
  43. Elke Holst, Anne Busch: Management Monitor 2010. (PDF; 1.5 MB) German Institute for Economic Research, 2010, accessed on November 28, 2010 . P. 2
  44. With coaching to success: Evaluation of a funding project of the state working group for women and work in Baden-Württemberg. Institute for SME Research at the University of Mannheim (ifm), March 2007.