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What is the Management Perspective?

Traditionally, we understand
management as a set of functions along the right side of the Helping Triangle.
The agency Board functions as the bridge between the agency and the authorizing
entity or more typically, the Board and its CEO share this function. In turn,
the CEO is responsible for the agency’s internal structure and connects the
agency with the Board and authorizing entity. Within the agency, the CEO is in
charge of and accountable for all internal
activities and functions. He (or she) may delegate most of those functions and
activities to subordinate staff members; but the CEO is the internal governing

Let me clarify three terms I
use in this and later chapters. The terms are accountability, responsibility,
and authority. All accountability,
responsibility, and authority within a human services agency are vested in the
agency Board. The Board is accountable to the Authorizers. This means
the Board is answerable to the Authorizers for whatever the agency does or does
not do. The Board is obligated to do that for which it has been authorized and
to refrain from any actions or activities for which it has not been authorized
or that violate law or other generally accepted conventions for human services
agencies. Its accountability is explicit or at least implicit in its agreements
with its Authorizers. It is accountable. “Accountability refers to the
obligation that is created when a person accepts duties and responsibilities
from higher management. The delegate is responsible to the next higher level to
carry them out effectively. Accountability flows upward in an
organization.” (Mosley, Megginson, & Pietri, 2007, p. 128)

Responsibilities are that for which the Board is accountable. They are the tasks
and associated outcomes reasonably expected of the agency. The job of the
agency is to…. The tasks and activities completing the statement are the
Board’s responsibilities. Authority is, then, the right or ability to
access resources, organize and manage the agency eco system, and to take
whatever additional, reasonable actions necessary to carry out the Board’s
responsibilities. We discuss these concepts later in relation to delegation and
policy development; but suffice it to say accountability, responsibility, and
authority collectively represent the auspices delegated to the Board by the
Authorizers. – Note human services agencies typically have multiple Authorizers
to which they are accountable, including the primary authorizing entity as well
as governmental, oversight, and regulatory entities.

The Management Perspective with the CEO functioning as the internal
governing authority is very familiar to all of us. A graphic representation of
the model looks like the organizational pyramid or Table of Organization (T.O.) we have all seen many times. The
Executive is at the top of the pyramid. Under him are multiple levels, with
more functions and people at each descending level. Most activities and people
are at the bottom of the pyramid where the authorized work of the agency takes
place. “One basic truism of management is that the lower the level of
management, the greater the span of management, which is the number of immediate
employees a manager can supervise effectively. Therefore, supervisors make
decisions that affect not only their own behavior but also that of many other
people.” (Mosley, Megginson, & Pietri, 2007, p. 61-62)

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