Ethics and equality in the workplace are emerging as themes for the coming years in the workplace, and considerations such as new financing techniques, the global economy and health care issues confront managers with a vast array of issues that were not dealt with by managers of previous eras ("The Best" 36).
The fundamental role of managers has not changed much over the course of the twentieth century--managers plan, direct and control subordinates, while serving as liaison between lower and upper levels of an organization (MacLennan 20). Managers must often be able to perform at least some of the tasks of their subordinates, and are often promoted from within the workgroup to the managerial position. However, the role of manager goes beyond supervisor.
As part of the directing and planning functions, managers must be able to understand budgets and work within certain parameters to ensure that their group's goals and objectives are achieved. Managers often are project managers, as well, making sure that subordinates have the right tools and resources to perform their tasks, and removing obstacles to achieving goals before they become problematic. Managers must also be able to understand the vision of the organization as a whole and translate that broad vision into the specific work that a particular area performs (Rogers, Pace and Wilson 3).