Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Four Functions of Management

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Management Functions


Abstract


In today’s rapidly changing competitive world, the human component of management is becoming more and more important. A successful manger must have the knowledge and expertise of effective concepts as it relates to managing. Management is a function, a discipline, a task to be done; and managers are the professionals who practice this discipline, carry out the functions, and discharge these tasks.


Introduction


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Throughout the centuries there have been many theories and developments in the field of study as relates to management however, most management historical writers refer to the manager’s four basic functions as planning, organizing, leading, and organizing.


Planning is an essential management function. In every organization, managers plan a wide variety of actions on a daily and long-term basis. As part of their jobs, managers are required to define the specific goals of an organization and develop the plans for attaining them. Planning is often called the first among equals of the four management functions (Dessler, p. 10). Planning is used to establish the goals and course of action, develop rules, and procedures, and forecasting future outcomes (Dessler, p. 10). Planning provides direction and purpose.


While planning tells us what should be done, organizing tells us how it is to be done and who should do it. Organizing is defining the roles and responsibilities to ensure that people with the skills required to discharge functions are available with the tools and materials to complete them successfully. Organizing is as arranging the activities of the enterprise in such away that they systematically contribute to the enterprise’s goals (Dessler, p. 10). Companies usually contribute in supporting organizations within the company by establishing organizational charts. Such charts show the structure of the organization by specifically listing the titles of manager’s position, and by connecting lines as to who is accountable to what area.


Leading is the process by which a manager directs the efforts of its employees towards the accomplishment of the organization’s goals. Leading is setting long-term aims, communicating a vision, and motivating people to achieve them. Leaders must provide a direction that employees can work towards. The direction can be a mission or vision statement depending upon what the leader wants to achieve. To be a leader one must have the capabilities to lead. Leaders must posses the drive, the desire, honesty, integrity, self-confidence, and knowledge of business.


To ensure that things are going as they should, management must monitor the organization’s performance and compare results with previously set goals and standards. When managers discover that operations are not proceeding according to plan, corrective action must be taken to get things back on course, this process is known as controlling. . Managers should monitor individuals, departments, and the organization to determine if desired performance has been achieved. The result of controlling is an accurate measurement of performance, efficiency, and effectiveness.


I apply the four functions of management to my organization whenever I am involved in the process of making changes or creating new policies and procedures. Before my organization introduces new changes to the organization, management puts much time into assuring that the process is well planned and organized. Once this process is completed the new policies are introduced the rest of the organization. In my posisiton as being a supervisor I have to assure that all employees are not only aware of the new policies, but also ensure that the new policies are being followed.


I apply the four functions of management with my supervisor whenever I want to implement new suggestions or ideas. For example, I introduced a ten-hour four-day work week to my supervisor. Before doing this I came up with a plan, organized a work schedule. Once the idea was approved I was responsible for leading the new changes by motivating employees and providing direction. I controlled the new process by monitoring customer satisfaction, effectiveness, and individual performance.


I apply the four functions of management to my own position as a supervisor everyday. I am responsible for leading and directing my staff and my department towards the goals of the organization. I do this through communication, motivation, and leadership. My position is responsible for hiring, training, motivating, and disciplining employees. My position is also responsible for the given task of developing and monitoring the progress of projects that will improve the organization’s performance.


Conclusion


In conclusion, now more than ever, organizations are demanding that managers be flexible, adaptive, and innovative to remain competitive. In order to achieve these goals managers must rely on numerous management techniques and practices. Before one can apply these techniques and practices, managers must be able to understand the fundamentals and basics that underline them. Without understanding the management basics one cannot be a good and effective manager.


References


Dessler, G.; (001). Management Leading People and Organizations in the 1st Century.


Prentice- Hall, Inc, NJ.


Quality4results, (000). Four Functions of Management. Retrieved march 5, 00 from


the World Wide Web http/www.csupomona.edu.


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