Background Note | HBS Case Collection | September 1987 (Revised October 1987)

The Job of the General Manager

by James L. Heskett


Describes elements of the job of the general manager that are addressed in the Management Policy and Practice course at the Harvard Business School. These include: 1) establishing strategic direction, 2) setting goals and managing standards of performance, 3) marshalling and allocating resources, 4) selecting and developing people, 5) organizing effort, 6) maintaining an understanding of day-to-day operations, and 7) building a positive working environment.

Keywords: Experience and Expertise; Policy; Recruitment; Working Conditions; Managerial Roles; Resource Allocation; Mission and Purpose; Performance Evaluation; Strategy; Value;


Heskett, James L. "The Job of the General Manager." Harvard Business School Background Note 388-035, September 1987. (Revised October 1987.)