Conceptual skills

From CEOpedia | Management online
Conceptual skills
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Conceptual skills are premised on a general analytical ability. Conceptual skills may be thought of as:

  • Logical and critical thinking
  • Proficiency in concept formation
  • Conceptualization of complex and ambiguous relationships
  • Creativity in idea generation and problem solving
  • Ability to analyze events and perceive trends
  • Ability to anticipate changes
  • Ability to recognize opportunities and potential problems (both inductively and deductively)
  • Possessing an understanding of entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship
  • Broad-based knowledge of innovation (new products, technologies, techniques, new sources) and commercialization
  • Defining strategies for reaching a goal
  • Formulating the course of processes (M. L. Springer 2016, P. 245).

Conceptual skills in enterprises

In some regards, it is expected that all participants with an awareness of the technology leadership body of knowledge would be equally educated in these conceptual skills and possess the ability to function in a conceptual capacity. In reality however varying levels of leadership, relative to management, are expected to demonstrate an increased conceptual capability with a declining expectation in technical skills (M. L. Springer 2016, p. 245). Conceptual skills are important and relevant for all individuals regardless of their place in organization. Conceptual skills consume more of a top executive's time) while technical skills are more important for new employees and frontline supervisors (R.Gulati, A.J. Mayo, N. Nohria 2013, P. 9)

The role of a manager in connection with conceptual skills

In enterprises conceptual skills mainly depend on the manager's (generally on upper-level managers) ability to think in the abstract. Managers need the mental capacity to understand the overall workings of the organization and its environment to grasp how all the parts of the organization fit together and to recognize the implications of any one problem for others. Thanks to conceptual skills managers might to view the organization in a holistic hammer. This ability allows them to think strategically, to see the big picture and to make broad-bases decisions that serve the overall organization (R. W. Griffin 2013, p. 8). Conceptual skills of managers allow them also to:

  1. think through and work with ideas, which form the enterprise and its vision for the future,
  2. expressing these ideas in verbal and written forms,
  3. understanding and expressing the economic principles underlying their company effectiveness.

In other words, conceptual skills allow managers to give abstract ideas meaning to make sense of abstract ideas for their supervisors, peers and subordinates (W.G. Rowe, L. Guerrero 2012, p. 84)

Upper-level managers, who do not have strong conceptual skills, they can jeopardize the whole organization. Conceptual skills are also important in middle management, and as we move down to lower management levels, conceptual skills become less important.


Author: Beata Franczyk