General Manager Job Description

The General Manager directs and coordinates the operations of a small business or a department in a company.

Primary Objectives:

  • The main objective of a General Manager is to direct the operations of the business that he is put in charge.

  • The General Manager of a medium sized plant maybe put in charge of a particular department instead of the whole plant.

  • In accordance with the type of business and the size of the business a General Manager may be given a different title but the functions are generally the same.

The General Manager directs and coordinates the operations of a small business or a department in a company. In most small businesses the General Manager is in charge of all the operations of that business. In a medium sized to large company the departments are divided into different divisions such as production, sales, promotion, purchasing, and other departments depending on what is needed by the company. In this case the General Manager is usually in charge of what is happening in the division that he is put into such as production. The overall person in charge is usually the Chief Operating Officer. The General Manager has his/her division and must make sure that they keep it in order and running smoothly. In this case the General Manager is usually given a title to depict his position as he maybe called the Purchasing General Manager. Despite these differences, the functions of all general managers are essentially the same just geared to the division that he is in charge.

The General Manager normally takes orders from the top executives before they determine what to do in order to carry out the overall company plan. When the General Manager understands what the overall company plan is then they set specific goals for their own departments to fit in with the plan. Just as an example the General Manager over production may need to increase certain production lines and phase out others in order to meet goals. The General Manger needs to explain their goals clearly to their support staff so that the supervisory managers can implement the plan making sure that the goals are met. The General Manager directs other people to achieve their goals. General Managers must be able to delegate responsibilities. It is not the responsibility of the General Manager to complete all the assignments themselves but they must rely upon others in middle management to help carry out the assignments.

General Managers must be skilled in hiring good middle managers and giving clear, consistent directives. The General Manager organizes their divisions so that the employees know exactly what role each has to play in the department. The middle managers must make sure that the employee is carrying out their job position or if they need help to assist them. Since the General Managers understand the work of their departments thoroughly it puts them in a constant position to make difficult decisions about departmental activities. The General Manager must be able to read and analyze a great deal of information in a short time in order to make correct decisions. When there is no reliable information then the General Manager must have sound judgment to make a decision. The General Manager is responsible to write clear reports for their senior executives. They must have strong leadership qualities and be able to get excellent performance from their support staff. The General Manager depends on their middle management staff to carry out the directives and make sure that the employee’s understand what they are responsible to do.

The Education of the General Manager varies depending on the kind of business that they are working for and what the requirements maybe. A General Manager in a technical or research firm often has a degree in science or engineering. General Managers who work for retail stores are often trained by the store with classroom instruction and on the job training. While others may have a Bachelor’s degree in business administration to obtain their position some only have an Associate’s Degree in business but receive their training while on the job. Often those who are working in the field of accounting or finance have a degree in accounting. Many General Managers have a degree in one field or another even if they take specialized training by the firm they are hired.

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