Week 1 What Do Managers Do? Activity 5

Allow 20 minutes for this activity.

This activity is designed to identify one main pressure or stress in your work as a manager and what you could do about it. Consider all the sources of pressure and stress covered in Readings 4 to 7. Identify just one that currently affects you most, and one action that you can take to reduce it. Say how you could carry out this action. When you are deciding on what action you will take, remember the demands and constraints that will restrict the choices you have. If you find that you have identified a pressure or stress about which you can do nothing, or not easily, then select one that you have more influence or control over. You might discuss with your line manager the major pressure you can do nothing about. Use Table 1.3 for the activity.

Table 1.3 Stresses and actions

The major stress factor in my work:
What I will do about it:
How I will do this:

It is likely that your responses to the activity focussed on the last two readings, and possibly the last one of all. The kinds of pressures set out in Reading 6, Recognising pressure and avoiding stress, are easier to recognise than to deal with. Time management issues, covered in Reading 7, Managing your time, are often easier to deal with.

If you were now to review your first week’s activities you would see that you have created a profile of your job:

  • the roles you perform
  • the demands of the job and the constraints that limit your choices over how you carry out your task, when and how
  • one important aspect of your job that creates most pressure or stress.

At the same time, you have planned an action that you can carry out to improve your effectiveness. You have begun networking with your fellow students and had the opportunity to gain insight into organisations other than the one you work for.

Activity 5 output

  • A completed version of Table 1.3.

B628 Table 1.3 Stresses and actions

The major stress factor in my work:

Role ambiguity, incompatibility and role conflicts. My role is not clearly defined and I am sometimes asked to do some work that should be done by Project Managers or Developers on my team.

What I will do about it:

Make sure that only spend time doing managerial work (planning, mentoring, etc.) specific to my job description.


How I will do this:

By requesting a clear job description from my supervisor and having her sign off on it.



The Open University (2012) B628/BZX628. Managing 1: Organisations and people, Module Activities, Milton Keynes, The Open University.

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