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Roles and responsibilities of the line managers in human resource practices.

The function of human resources management within the organizations is, in a nutshell, to develop policies and provide the technical competence necessary to attract, retain, compensate, develop, and maintain a climate within which employees can become highly motivated and productive. The department generally holds a staff position in the organization, giving service to the line departments. Authority is a key factor in any management position. In the managerial context, authority takes the form of influence, including the power to take action and direct or coordinate the action of others. There are essentially three types of authority: line, staff, and functional. Line Authority- Line authority involves the power to direct subordinates and to reward or take disciplinary action, if necessary. Line authority is exercised vertically over subordinates in the chain of command but cannot be exercised horizontally over workers in other departments. Staff Authority- involves being empowered to give authoritative assistance, counsel, advice, or service to other management functions. Staff authority is derived not only from the proximity of the individuals position to the power base, but also from the individuals knowledge or expertise. Managers with staff authority usually do not have the power to direct; instead, they must rely on their power to persuade and their reputation for solid expertise in order to have their recommendations implemented. Functional Authority Functional authority involves the power to direct others on matters pertaining to the performance of their particular function. The power of functional authority is similar to that of line authority. It is generally more powerful than staff authority, although the ability to utilize functional authority effectively depends on persuasions. Human resources managers normally posses line, staff, and functional authority. Because human resources is primarily a staff department that is, it provides services to the line the human resources manager has staff authority with managers in departments other than human resources. Within the human resources department, however, the managers exercise the line authority. Depending on the size of the organization, the human resources department may employ only one person; or, it may employ a sizable group. Because of this, the human resources manager must be able not only to persuade but also to manage effectively. In addition to using staff and line authority, the human resources manager also must exercise functional authority with other managers in matters pertaining to organizational policy. The ability to perform effectively in so many different roles is not common. It is no wonder that competent human resources managers are in such demand today. The broad concept of human resources management casts the human resources executive in the role of a high-level specialist with advisory responsibilities throughout the organization. The human resources director becomes an integral management consultant,

helping management at all levels to solve people-related problems. management in areas such as:

He assists

Diagnosing and addressing employee morale, motivation, and productivity problems. Developing and evaluating employees. Participating in the development of top management philosophies and business strategies.