What is the Katz Model, three uses and cautions, and specific examples of training topics


Ideally, a company's human resource development should enable employees to acquire appropriate skills as their positions change. In particular, managers are required to have not only their own abilities, but also the skills to lead their subordinates and team members to achieve results. This is where the "Katz Model" framework can be utilized.

In this issue, we will provide an overview of the Katz Model, how to utilize it, and points to keep in mind. Examples of training themes that are easy to implement for each level will also be touched upon, so please make use of the Katz Model in planning your human resource development.

Fundamentals of the Katz Model


The Katz Model is a framework used to develop and evaluate human resources, particularly at the managerial level. This section explains the meaning and components of the Katz Model.

What is the Katz Model?

What is the Katz model?It is a theory that categorizes and articulates the competencies required for management by hierarchy and skill level.The framework divides managers into three levels: Lower Management, Middle Management, and Top Management. In addition, necessary business skills are divided into three categories: technical skills, human skills, and conceptual skills.

The framework was proposed in the 1950s by Robert L. Katz, an American management scholar, and continues to be used as a guideline for human resource development and organizational development.

The three hierarchies that make up the Katz model

Top Management

Top management includes the chief executive officer (CEO), chief operating officer (COO), chairman, president, and vice presidents. Because they are involved in determining management policies and strategies, they have few opportunities to give specific instructions in the field.

middle management

Middle management applies to positions such as general managers, section managers, area managers, and branch managers. They are required to understand the decisions of top management, communicate them to lower management, and facilitate the execution of business operations.

Lower Management

Lower management includes section managers, chiefs, chiefs, and other on-site supervisors. They are in a position to supervise members based on instructions from middle management and are involved in on-site operations. Even ordinary employees without a position are treated as lower management if they are assigned as project leaders, etc.

Three skills that make up the Katz model

technical skill

Technical skills are specialized knowledge and skills to perform specific tasks. Also referred to as business execution skills, these skills include PC operation skills, bookkeeping and language qualifications, product knowledge, and the ability to propose services. Compared to the other two skills, technical skills tend to refer to skills that are more relevant to the workplace.

people skills

Human skills are interpersonal skills. It represents the ability to build good relationships not only with people in the workplace, such as superiors and subordinates, but also with customers, consumers, and all other parties involved in work. It consists of elements such as leadership, communication, presentation, and listening skills.

conceptual skill

Conceptual skills, also expressed as conceptualization skills, are the skills to understand the essence of things and make appropriate decisions. It can be said to be the ability to objectively analyze all events that need to be addressed, such as problems that occur in organizational operations and changes in the market, and to find effective approaches. Personnel with high conceptual skills have acquired the following abilities.

  • Logical thinking
  • Lateral thinking (horizontal thinking)
  • Critical thinking
  • multifaceted view
  • intellectual curiosity
  • spirit of inquiry
  • application
  • flexibility
  • Receptivity, etc.
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How to develop human resources using the Katz Model


The following are some key points for human resource development using the Katz Model. Reflect the ideas of the Katz Model in your skill acquisition and management training methods to promote the growth of your human resources.

Create a map of competencies required at each level of the hierarchy

First, create a map of the competencies you are looking for at each level and position. The advantage is that employees will be more aware of the abilities they lack and those they need to improve further. This can be used when setting goals and evaluating personnel performance.

Provide training to acquire the three skills.

<Example of a training theme based on Katz's model

technical human conceptual
Top Management
(Management level)
- Business Strategy Concept
- Business Plan Development
- Financial Management
- risk management
- Advanced Negotiation - Organizational Development
middle management
(Executive/Management level)
- Analysis of financial statements and other figures
- market analysis
- Teaching
- Employee Coaching Program
- critical thinking
- problem-solving ability
- planning ability
Lower Management
- computer skill
- business email
- communication skills
- listening comprehension
- followership
- harassment
- logical thinking

Training suitable for acquiring technical skills

On-the-job training, in which education is conducted in parallel with on-the-job work, tends to be more suitable for acquiring technical skills. This is because practical experience tends to be more important than systematic learning of specialized skills. Create an environment where you can receive direct instruction from experienced employees.

What is OJT Training? Trends, advantages, disadvantages, and effective implementation methods

OJT training is an educational method that provides guidance while practicing work in the workplace, and its strength is that it enables new employees to become immediately competitive. In this issue, we introduce the advantages of introducing OJT training, points to keep in mind, and points to effectively implement OJT training. If you are in charge of human resources, please take a look at this article.

Training suitable for acquiring human skills

Human skills are easily acquired through both on-the-job training and group training; in the case of on-the-job training, if you are a salesperson, you will be in the same field as members with extensive sales experience, giving you the opportunity to see and learn interpersonal negotiation skills such as negotiation and presentation skills.

In addition, role-playing in group training will help foster a practical image. It is also recommended to take advantage of training programs offered by outside professional companies.

Training suitable for acquiring conceptual skills

Conceptual skills are the easiest skills to acquire in group training. This is because highly abstract topics such as logical thinking and critical thinking are often easier to understand if they are learned carefully and in sequence. Group training also makes it easier to practice through group work.

Plan training for each of the three levels.

Training suitable for top management

Training for top management focuses on improving management skills. Specifically, training in business strategy planning, financial management, risk management, negotiation, and organizational development are useful. Another advantage of participating in training programs conducted by external organizations is the opportunity to build a personal network with the management of other companies.

Training suitable for middle management

It is a good idea to provide leadership training, coaching training, and critical thinking training for middle management. This is because middle management needs to correctly grasp the intentions of upper management and communicate them to subordinates before taking command.

In addition to a deep understanding of the company's products, market analysis skills and skills in analyzing financial statements and other numerical data are also required for the smooth execution of work.

Suitable training for lower management

Examples of training for lower management include training to acquire basic business skills such as PC skills, business writing skills, and logical thinking. This is because, compared to the other two levels, lower management has more opportunities to work in the field.

In addition, given your position as a team supervisor, it is a good idea to take compliance and harassment training, as well as communication training.

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Points to keep in mind when utilizing the Katz model


When utilizing the Katz Model, be careful not to take an overly limited view of the skills required at each level. It is important to assume the risk of misinterpretation of the Katz Model by employees and to inform them regularly.

If it is difficult to acquire all skills through on-the-job training or group training, e-learning is recommended. This is suitable for cases where the workload is too busy to hold group training, or where there is no suitable instructor for the content of the training, as the courses can be taken according to the abilities of the individual.

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Let's introduce the concept of the Katz Model and use it to raise the level of organizational strength.

In this issue, we have provided basic knowledge of the Katz Model and its use in human resource development, as well as some points to keep in mind. The concept of the Katz Model can be used not only for managers, but also for the development of all human resources belonging to an organization. Let's clarify the skills that should be emphasized for each position and job title, and make use of them to improve organizational capabilities.

If you want to implement training using the Katz Model in an e-learning program, you can use the "Katz Model. learningBOX Free Trialis recommended.
learningBOX is an e-learning system equipped with essential functions for in-house training, such as content creation and distribution, and course participant management. Courses can be designed in accordance with training content, and tests can be easily conducted to check employee proficiency. The system's simple operability and reasonable price have been well received, and many companies have adopted it for their in-house training programs.

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