3 Levels of Management – Meanings, Responsibilities, and More

3 Levels of Management – Meanings, Responsibilities, and More

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Syed Aquib Ur
Syed Aquib Ur Rahman
Assistant Manager
Updated on Jun 27, 2024 19:54 IST

There are three levels of management that you may have heard. But what are the relationships and differences among each? What are the differing roles and responsibilities of each?


In a large organisation, there are different levels of management demarcated on the basis of authority and responsibility. Generally, these levels form a pyramid, where the top management level is at the apex while the lower level is at the base. This pyramidal structure is necessary for establishing a defined command chain that ensures efficiency in all processes. 

Related: Difference Between Formal and Informal Organisation

What are Levels of Management?

Simply put, levels of management refer to the demarcation of responsibilities of managers from top to bottom in a pyramidal organisational structure. This division in the managerial structure describes how the chain of command works. 

Also, look into what is management?

Levels of management pyramid structure

In the image above, there are three broad demarcations under which managers have different functions. 

And you can already tell, the top level managers also need to have more experience than the middle level and bottom level managers. Likewise, the responsibilities at the top are to make the final decisions for the organisation. 

The levels of management make it easier for understanding how the authority passes down from top to bottom. For instance, the delegation of tasks goes downwards from top, and this process does not happen in the reverse order. This example also applies to leadership theories. You could further explore the Situational Leadership Theory, where task delegation is prioritised based on different levels of maturity of the subordinates/followers.

Read more: Management Concepts

Top Level Management 

Also referred to as the administrative level, managers here are responsible for the strategic decision-making process. It is upon them to ensure the goals set are met.

Related: What is Administration?

Responsibilities of Top Level Management 

The top level management in an organisation have the following responsibilities. 

  • Setting organisational objectives that need to be met through devising a business strategy
  • Preparing budgets for all departments
  • Coordinating activities in the organisation
  • Assigning executives to middle-level management
  • Analysing the business environment to understand how the organisation will succeed
  • Being accountable to shareholders
  • Communicating to the outside environment, i.e., the public, about the organisation
  • Being responsible for the survival and growth of the organisation

Roles in Top Level Management

The top-level management has senior roles. Some of the top roles are Chief Executive Officer, Vice President, etc. 

Required Skills in Top Level Management

  • Leadership skills to align employees and help them meet organisational goals
  • Strategy building to move the organisation forward and ensure a future for the organisation
  • Decision-making to take the final call on policies and plans to be implemented

Read more on Effective Leadership Skills

While you could look at the business strategy courses, consider executive MBA online programmes when you are seriously planning to make your business or organisation stand out among the competition. 

Middle Level Management

Managers at this level act as intermediaries between top and lower management levels. Functional department heads are at this level generally. For example, the marketing department will have a manager who has skills in marketing, the finance team a will have a manager from an accounting background, and so on. 

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Responsibilities of Middle Level Management 

The following are the main responsibilities of middle level managers in the hierarchy. 

  • Interpreting plans and policies created by top level management and implementing them as per their departments
  • Offering guidance and mentorship to lower management employees
  • Delegating tasks to lower management employees and monitoring them
  • Liaising with top level management with timely reports and meetings and ensure the plans are on track
  • Evaluating employee performance
  • Recruiting and training the right talent
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Roles in Middle Level Management

Department managers such as HR manager in human resources, Sales Manager in sales, etc. are the common roles. These roles can also consist of lower level management employees who move up to middle managers within or from a different organisation. 

Required Skills in Middle Level Management

  • Basic managerial skills such as communication, negotiation, etc.
  • Functional skills based on one’s department
  • Mentorship skills to guide employees
  • Recruiting skills to acquire the right talent

Lower Level Management 

Lower level management consists of first line managers who are responsible for achieving daily tasks assigned to them from middle management. 

Responsibilities of Lower Level Management 

  • Maintaining operational efficiency in the organisation
  • Communicating with middle managers about the progress or completion of tasks
  • Planning and controlling daily work and analysing bottlenecks
  • Reviewing performance of employees under them
  • Assisting middle management with hiring the right talents
  • Supervising and motivating employees under them

Read more: Types of Management Styles

Roles in Lower Level Management

Section officers, supervisors, etc are some of the common roles at this level of management. 

Required Skills in Lower Level Management

  • Working knowledge of their functional areas
  • Supervising skills to ensure employees under them are able to complete tasks without hassle

To move up from the lower to middle level of management, you could look into enrolling in some online MBA programmes

Parting Thoughts

So these are the three different levels of management that you should know. If you are planning to move up to top-level management, the right work experience and the right management courses will help you.


About the Author
Syed Aquib Ur Rahman
Assistant Manager

Aquib is a seasoned wordsmith, having penned countless blogs for Indian and international brands. These days, he's all about digital marketing and core management subjects - not to mention his unwavering commitment ... Read Full Bio