General management is a comprehensive term describing the responsibilities of organizational positions and the behavioural roles of those filling them. Although general management positions exist in all organizational settings, including not-for-profit organizations and government agencies, for-profit organizations are our focus. However, this focus does not preclude the potential applicability of our arguments within other settings.
To explain general management, we examine the responsibilities and tasks required to fulfil management roles. In doing so, we seek to illuminate how theoretical and empirical research informs general managers’ decision-making efforts, many of which are concerned with positioning a firm for competitive success in dynamic and complex global marketplaces. We conclude by briefly considering the debate regarding the professionalization of management, using the context of managerial roles to do so. We seek to make two primary contributions: (1) developing an integration of a firm’s strategy, leadership and operations with managerial roles by hierarchical level, and (2) informing the current debate about the professionalism of management.
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