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Being an effective parks and recreation manager

This is an excerpt from Leisure Services Management 2nd Edition With Web Study Guide by Amy Hurd,Robert Barcelona,Jo An Zimmermann & Janet Ready.

Being an effective manager means meeting the goals, objectives, and expectations of the agency you work in. Although effectiveness is discussed in chapter 2, the model of effectiveness is discussed here to show you where this text is headed and what you can expect to learn.

To be an effective manager, there are three components to consider. Effectiveness results when there is a balance between a person's competencies, the job demands, and the organizational environment (figure 1.2) (Boyatzis 1982).

Figure 1.2

Figure 1.2 Model for effective performance.

First, individual competencies are skills, knowledge, and characteristics that a person needs to be successful in a job. In the model of effectiveness, individual competencies encompass not only what people do on the job but what they are capable of doing as well (figure 1.3). In order for an agency to be effective, the staff has to be highly skilled. Later in the chapter, you will learn what competencies are needed to be successful as an entry-level manager in the field. These competencies are the foundation for this text. Individual skills will be built in planning and decision making (chapter 6), marketing (chapter 7), human resource management (chapters 9 and 10), finance and budgeting (chapters 11 and 12), and evaluation (chapter 13).

Figure 1.3

Figure 1.3 Elements of competencies.

The second component of effectiveness is job demands. Job demands are the functions of management—planning, organizing, leading, and controlling—that are discussed throughout the text.

  • Planning. Developing the future direction of the organization through such things as strategic planning and establishing goals and objectives
  • Organizing. Managing resources to ensure the plans are implemented; creating an organizational structure where the right people are in the right places
  • Leading. Managing and motivating staff; training and developing staff; managing staff performance
  • Controlling. Directing the work to be done; ensuring performance standards are being met; controlling financial resources, among others; evaluating the efforts of the organization

Such job demands or functions include tasks performed, roles of the manager, and the manager's function within the organization. The job functions aspect of effectiveness will be learned through topics such as theory and current issues in management and leadership (this chapter), the roles and functions of managers (chapter 2), and legal concerns and risk management in recreation (chapter 3), among others.

Finally, the organizational environment includes the climate and culture of the organization. It can include the structure of the organization (chapter 4), policies, procedures, and coordination of resources (chapter 5), and communication methods (chapter 8). A manager is only effective when the three components are balanced. An incompetent manager, an organization with poor organizational structure and policies, or a misalignment of job demands will not be effective on a consistent basis. Agencies and the managers within them may have to adapt one of these three elements for effectiveness to be consistent. For example, training an employee who lacks skills, changing the job description to meet the demands of the customers, or improving communication to help different departments work better together are all means to becoming more effective as an agency. As you can see, each chapter in Leisure Services Management is a building block to becoming an effective manager. By the end of this book, you should have a solid understanding of the dimensions of management and how the skills you have learned can be applied in the field.

More Excerpts From Leisure Services Management 2nd Edition With Web Study Guide