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Case Study of Influence of Managerial Escalator on Career Paths of Managers

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1. Introduction

Management is the process of getting things done through people as defined by Mary Parker (1941). Henri Fayol (1916) identified the elements of management which are to forecast and plan, organise, command, coordinate and control.

The key objective of this report was to interview two different managers to examine the extent to which the career paths of these two people whether conform with the concept of the managerial escalator. The first section of the report focuses on background theory and a brief description of the necessary academic and literary terminology. The second part of the report will show summarised findings of the two interviews, including drawn results and facts stated. Following this, discussions on the two managers will further expand on the findings, including clear analysis, comparison with previous research, methods used to obtain data and the shortcomings of the research and methodology. The final part of the report includes a conclusion which discusses whether the research questions and objectives have been answered and achieved.

2. Theory

This section of the report shows a brief explanation of the main concepts and terminology used in the research and discussion.

2.1 Managerial Escalator

“The concept of the managerial escalator is used to explain how specialists become managers” (Rees and Porter, 2015, p5). A specialist may be promoted as a store manager based on their level of competence over the years. Most employees in different organisations tend to make their way up the escalator. A store manager now can be promoted as an area manager in the next five years. This escalator-type progression is very common. (Rees and Porter, 2015)

2.2 Managerial Hybrid

In some situations, people are likely to combine specialist activities while performing managerial responsibilities. Managers and employees who are involved in both managerial and specialist activities are called Managerial Hybrids. (Rees and Porter, 2015)

2.3 Managerial Gap

According to Rees and Porter (2015), the managerial gap is defined as the difference between the amount of time that a person should be spending on managerial activities and the amount of time spent.

2.4 Remedial Strategies

Remedial strategies are crucial in order to deal with the problem of poor managerial performance. They involve dealing with four fundamental causes of ineffective performance which are:

  1. Role definition: One of the integral parts of remedial strategies is an accurate role definition. It is necessary to clearly state the managerial aspects of the job for both applicants and those making appointments.
  2. Managerial Selection: This is one of the main aspects of why the wrong people are given managerial responsibility. Two key mistakes are considered in this section: 1) failure to recognise the managerial element in jobs and 2) general selection incompetence. (Rees and Porter, 2015)
  3. Training and development of managers: This is one of the key strategies in dealing with the problem of poor management. There has been an increase in management training. However, increases in the quantity of training do not always ensure adequate training.
  4. Monitoring: This is one of the four key strategies. This applies whether the manager performance is being reviewed. it is important, people who are given managerial responsibilities are also provided help with coaching, appraisals and counselling. (Rees and Porter, 2015)

3. Findings

This section of the report focuses on the findings of two managers interviewed in two different organisations.

3.1 Findings Manager 1

The first person to be interviewed is a Shift Manager at a fast-food restaurant called Roosters Piri Piri. She started as a team member two years ago, working part-time hours alongside studies. Initially, she was trained to be a team member which helped her to carry out regular tasks throughout the day. After six months, one of the shift managers had to leave due to personal problems. To fill out the position quickly, she was approached by the owner of the company to take on the role of the shift manager. As part of her job role, she is responsible for supervising restaurant staff. She is required to deal with customer complaints regularly, providing them with solutions. Other main managerial responsibilities include ensuring store cleanliness and a neat appearance of the public areas both in and out of the store, controlling and monitoring staff labour according to sales and reconciling at the end of a shift; verifying that correct change was given out by the staff.

Alongside her managerial responsibilities, she carries out daily activities such as taking orders through tills as well as over the phone. Some of the other regular tasks include working in the kitchen cooking food, sending out food deliveries to assigned drivers, assisting in preparing and packing food and beverages at the front.

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3.2 Findings Manager 2

The second person to be interviewed was a store manager at Domino’s. He has been working in Domino’s for nearly four years. He started as a full-time team member. One year ago, on being recommended by one of the area managers, he applied for the role of the store manager and successfully got accepted. Before attaining the managerial role, he was given on-job training from a few different area managers, which was related to motivating teams and achieving sales targets. Being the manager in one of the leading pizza companies requires tons of multitasking. When asked about the responsibilities, he said no station in the store can be beyond the manager’s ability. Some key responsibility are cooking. This includes making dough and pizzas, cutting and boxing products, and overseeing total quality control for all the food that is being served. In terms of financial aspects, it is crucial that a manager keeps tight controls. He manages labour control; product costs control and waste control. Additionally, he is also held accountable if there is damage, theft or shortages in cash.

He stated most of the time as a manager goes toward meeting sales targets and ensuring labour control. He enjoys working with different kinds of people from around the world as well as motivating them to perform to their best of ability. Furthermore, he said he enjoys being in his current role as it grants him a sense of power. Lastly, he expressed a desire to go higher up in the role in future such as an area manager and build a career at Dominos.

4. Discussions

The next part of this report will discuss the findings of the two managers that were interviewed and how these findings fit in and relate with the concept of Managerial Escalator.

4.1 Discussion Manager 1

The findings of Manager 1 revealed that before her current role as the shift manager, she was a part-time team member in the same company. Shortly after, due to unforeseen circumstances, she was asked to take on the role of the shift manager. This aligns with the concept of Managerial Escalator. Rees and Porter (2015) suggest it is very likely for a specialist to be promoted to a higher level after a certain duration of competent performance. Manager 1 stated that due to her dedication and enthusiasm to her daily tasks in the company, she was appreciated, therefore was assigned the role of manager. This is considered an aspect of managerial selection when staff is appointed as managers merely based on historical performance as specialists. Fortunately, manager 1 did not find any difficulties in coping with managerial responsibilities. She was accompanied by one of the managers in her first few shifts who briefly trained her with important managerial tasks.

Further in the interview, it was revealed she spent 50% of her time undertaking managerial responsibilities such as supervising and training staff as well as dealing with regular complaints from customers. Another 50% of her time, she is carrying out specialist activities such as cooking, serving customers at the front and taking phone orders. When asked whether she has enough time for managerial activities she said due to the small size of the company, she can deal with both specialists and managerial responsibilities simultaneously. This suggests there is no managerial gap for manager 1 as she can work around the clock effectively and efficiently. Furthermore, this finding revealed that she must combine her specialist’s tasks with managerial responsibilities most of the time at work; this suggests she acts as a managerial hybrid. It is clear from her situation that a person can be involved in both specialist and managerial activities.

In terms of monitoring, due to a small hierarchy structure, there is not enough monitoring that takes place. However, the owner keeps an eye on of all the complaints and any other problems that occur during her shift. A key remedial strategy of monitoring applies here, which helps to correct the imbalance in the job. Through monitoring, weak areas are identified which is trained for later.

Towards the end of the interview, it was revealed that manager 1 would continue in this job role until she graduates. She felt that she had developed various skills as a manager by dealing with numerous challenges and responsibilities. She believes this will help her in the short-term and long-term success. Additionally, she expressed a desire for establishing her own company or buying one of the franchises once she graduates. This suggests that manager 1 is aimed to carry along the managerial escalator in the future and may come to an end with all her time on the managerial side of the axis. (Rees and Porter, 2015)

4.2 Discussion Manager 2

The findings of the second manager revealed he has been working in the company for nearly five years and just a year ago he applied for the position of store manager which he successfully got accepted for. This finding aligns with the concept of the managerial escalator as he escalated from the role of the specialist to the store manager. Additionally, he had no previous experience working as a manager in the past. However, he received formal training by area managers as well as went through different on job training programmes within the company. The training provided helps prevent any problems that a specialist might face as a manager.

Furthermore, it was revealed that manager 2 spends 60% of the time on managerial activities that include controlling costs on a day-to-day basis to improve profitability. Addition to, he motivates the team to improve efficiency throughout the store to achieve company’s high standards. He maintains a strong brand image and service standards including uniform/presentation standards and philosophy on customer service and always maintaining and developing product quality. He claims to spend 40% of his time on specialists’ activities. When asked whether he is happy with the time he spends on managerial activities, he said he would like to focus a bit more on managerial aspects of his job and spend maybe 80% of his time undertaking managerial responsibilities. This indicates that the managerial gap for manager 2 is 20% due to the imbalance between his specialists and managerial activities. However, he further stated he is happy to deal with both managerial and specialists as it helps to develop a strong working relationship. This relates to the theory of managerial hybrid when managers need to step in as specialists.

When asked about what he is willing to do in future, he expressed a desire to stay in his current position as a store manager as it will help to expand on his knowledge and skills. He further stated that if an opportunity arises, he would apply for the role of area manager and try his best to go higher up in the company.

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Case Study of Influence of Managerial Escalator on Career Paths of Managers. (2022, September 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 22, 2023, from
“Case Study of Influence of Managerial Escalator on Career Paths of Managers.” Edubirdie, 27 Sept. 2022,
Case Study of Influence of Managerial Escalator on Career Paths of Managers. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 22 Sept. 2023].
Case Study of Influence of Managerial Escalator on Career Paths of Managers [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 27 [cited 2023 Sept 22]. Available from:
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