Roles Of An Assistant Role In Communication

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The role of the assistant-to may be generally or specifically defined, not defined at all, or allowed to define itself. In some instances the position may not be related to the original reason for its creation.

From an overall perspective, an assistant-to might be expected to perform the following duties or roles: informal organizer of the office, center of communication to and from the chief, informal interpreter of the boss to others and vice versa, confidant of the boss, and informal adviser.

As an informal organizer, the assistant-to may be an errand boy or a person of considerable informal power and prestige. The assistant-to may be utilized for circumventing line organizations; that is, he may be an informal contact man, not only with lower levels of the organization, but also with outside persons and organizations. These activities may be dysfunctional in that they can create an atmosphere of uneasiness and make other executives feel undermined; people become concerned about what the assistant-to may see, hear, and report to his superior. However, as an interpreter of his boss to others, the assistant-to may ease certain tensions the chief was unaware of. He may not only help the chief understand other executives but also help other executives understand the chief.
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Also, and perhaps more important, other people can consult the assistant-to,... about policy matters within their own areas of responsibility and authority because they want to sample the superior thinking without bothering him directly. The interpretive function of the assistant-to is important where the superior relies heavily on written reports without frequent personal discussions with

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