Describe the various functions of management.

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malkaam's profile pic

malkaam | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Management, as defined by Mary Parker Follett,

"The art of getting things done through people."

Management refers to the activities, and often the group of people, involved in the four general functions:

  1. Planning
  2. Organizing
  3. Staffing 
  4. Directing
  5. Controlling 

PLANNING:

It is the ongoing process of developing the business's mission and objectives and determining how they will be accomplished. Planning includes both the broadcast view of the organization, e.g. it's mission, and the narrowest, e.g. a tactic for accomplishing a specific goal.  

ORGANIZING:

Organizing is an essential function of management. It is the process of accumulating resources from different sources in order to work according to the plans laid out by the management.

STAFFING:

It is function in which qualified people are appointed to different posts relating to their skills and strengths. The activities included in this function are recruiting, hiring, training, evaluating and compensating.

DIRECTING:

Directing is a function that comes after staffing of the organization, it is the function in which the management is supposed to lead, direct to a specific goal and motivate the employees for the achievement of any objective, big or small.

CONTROLLING:

It is a function in which the performance of the organization is measured and then evaluated after which the standard observed is determined to be either good or bad, which then in turn leads to taking preventive and corrective measures.

sid-sarfraz's profile pic

sid-sarfraz | Student, Graduate | (Level 2) Salutatorian

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Management

Management is the process of reaching organizational goals by working with and through people and other organizational resources. 

Management has the following 3 characteristics:

  1. It is a process or series of continuing and related activities.
  2. It involves and concentrates on reaching organizational goals.
  3. It reaches these goals by working with and through people and other organizational resources.

Functions of Management:-

  1. Planning
  2. Organizing
  3. Staffing
  4. Leading
  5. Controlling

PLANNING

Planning refers to what is to be done, how it is to be done and when it is to be done.

Planning involves choosing tasks that must be performed to attain organizational goals, outlining how the tasks must be performed, and indicating when they should be performed.

Four steps in Planning are as follows:-

  • Objective
  • Method
  • Timing
  • Strategy

Planning is supposed to be done at each and every level of an organization by each and every employee. It is basically forecasting the future course of action. It bridges gap between present and future, planning our vision and mission.

Planning includes:-

  • Designing procedures
  • Policies
  • Rules
  • Programmes
  • Budgets

Planning can be short run or long run, but it is mostly for both, simultaneously. Short term plans are made to benefit long terms plans.

This is the core function of management because it is the foundation of the other four areas.  Planning involves mapping out exactly how to achieve a specific goal.  As a manager, he or she will need to map out detailed actions;  what to do, when to do it and how it should be done.  Think of it as bridging a gap for where we currently are and where we want to be.  For example, if the company’s goal is to earn profit, the manager needs to determine the steps necessary to achieve that goal.  This can include spending more on advertising, hiring more experienced employees, cutting costs, or improving the products being sold.

Planning is always an going process.  There will be times when external factors will affect the company both positively and negatively.  This in turn may alter the original planning process in reaching certain goals.  This is known as strategic planning.  Depending on the exact scope of an organization, the strategic planning process can look ahead as far as ten years or more.  The findings are usually collected in a strategic planning document.

ORGANIZING

Organizing is accumulating physical, human and monetary resources. This assembling would depend on the objective set by an organization.

Organizing can be thought of as assigning the tasks developed in the planning stages, to various individuals or groups within the organization. Organizing is to create a mechanism to put plans into action.

The function of organizing contains following characteristics:-

  • Structuring the functions
  • Structuring duties
  • Establishing authority - subordinate relationships

Steps of Organization function:-

  1. Determination of activities of the enterprise in the line of its objectives
  2. Dividing the activities into appropriate groups
  3. Assignment of these activities to individuals
  4. Delegation of authority
  5. Fixing responsibilities
  6. Co-ordination of these activities and authority relation

In short, Organization is all about division of work amongst individuals and co-ordination of their efforts to achieve the objective set by the organization.

Immediately after planning, the manager needs to organize the team according to plan.  This involves organizing all of the company’s resources to implement a course of action and determining the organizational structure of the group.  And in order to do this correctly, management will need to evaluate the different divisions of departments and the staff to figure out the best way to accomplish the tasks needed to reach their goals.

This function is also known to be the backbone of management.  Without organization, a company will have no structure and their day-to-day operation of business will most likely collapse.  If management is disorganized, it can trickle down to the employees because they will lose confidence in their leaders.

STAFFING

For achieving an objective, the company needs to appoint individuals for various positions in order to complete that objective.

The purpose of staffing is to control all recruitment and personnel needs of the organization.  After management decides what needs they have, they may decide to hire more employees in a certain department.  It is also responsible for training and development, promotions, transfers, and firing.  A lot of times management and the human recourse department will work together because their roles are similar in this case.

The importance of this function has grown lately, mostly because of the increasing size of businesses and the advancement of technology.  A good example of this is the IT department.  The size of the IT department in a company ten years ago is nothing compared to what it is now because of the dependence we have on computers and servers.  Without the staffing function, a business will certainly fail because there will not be an experienced, sufficient amount of employees within each department.

LEADING/DIRECTING

The manager in this function, is supposed to direct or lead appointed individuals and explain them how is their appointed jobs to be done.

Supervision, motivation, leadership, and communication are all involved in the directing function.  Management needs to be able to oversee and influence the behavior of the staff and achieve the company’s goals, whether that means assisting or motivating them.  When morale is high within a company, it usually has a significant impact on job performance and efficiency.  Incentive programs and rewards are a great way for a business to keep its employees happy and motivated.

However, the most important aspect of directing is having good communication.  This means building positive interpersonal relationships, effective problem solving and evaluating one another.  Most directing takes place in in meetings and other meeting sessions with the department leaders to ensure that everyone is on the same page.  Poor communication will lead to poor execution in an organization.

The essential steps in this function are as follows:-

  • Issuing orders and instructions
  • Guiding and counselling
  • Supervision

CONTROLLING

In this function the manager is supposed to explain the job essentials to the individuals and guide them in achieving their goals.

Controlling involves:-

  • Measurement of accomplishment against standards
  • Analyzing reasons and devitions
  • Responsibility Fixation
  • Taking corrective measures

The last function of management deals with monitoring the company’s progress and ensuring that all of the other functions are operating efficiently.  Since this is the last stage, there are bound to be some irregularities and complexity within the organization.  This in turn can lead to certain situations and problems arising that are disrupting the company’s goals. Given is the stage where all the final data is gathered, it is the management’s job to take corrective action, even where there is the slightest deviance between actual and predictable results.

Controlling is the following roles played by the manager:-

  1. Gather information that measures performance
  2. Compare present performance to pre-established performance norms.
  3. Determine the next action plan and modifications for meeting the desired performance parameters.
sciencesolve's profile pic

sciencesolve | Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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There are identified 5 key functions of management: planning, organizing, staffing, coordinating, controlling. Each function influences the other 4, affecting, more or less, the intended level of performance.

The planning function determines the methods and paths that need to be followed to achieve the established goals. The planning function also allocates the needed human and material resources to reach the targeted goals.

The organizing function can be seen as a process that consists of the following phases: identification of actions that must be performed to achieve the desired goals, organization of these actions in classes, creations of authorities and responsibilities with respect to the identified activities, and establishment of relationships between the identified classes of activities.

Staffing function consists of the following sub-functions: recruitment, placement, training, development, remuneration, performance analysis, and promotions.

Coordinating function acts with the help of the following key-tools: communication, motivation, supervision, and leadership.

The controlling function ensures the proper corrections, if necessary, to achieve the targeted goals. This function passes through the following 4 phases: foundation of the targeted performance indicators, measurement of the actual indicators, comparisons between the actual and targeted indicators, and restorative actions, if needed.

Sources:

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