THE FOUR FUNCTIONS OF MANAGEMENT
TheFour Functions of Management
Administrationincludes mission identification, techniques, goals, tenets, and humancontrol capital of any business endeavor that further adds to thesame business venture. It thus implies effective communicationbetween an organization’s management and its employees. Theenvironment, as opposed to the mechanical or physical mechanism, alsoimplies successful outcome and motivation. Management, as such, isnot manipulation of mechanism, and can take place in both the illegaland legal business enterprise environment. Management is an importantsince it is aimed at improving relationships through planning,leading, organizing, and controlling. All the four functions ensuremanagement is effectively handled in an organizational or businesssetting. Management thus, must involve human beings, communication,and positive business endeavor. From the beginning, management wasoften viewed functionally to include quality, adjustment of plans,and meeting objectives. This also applies in certain situations whereother activities do not take place. This is why management isconsidered to have its functions.
Keywords: Management, planning, leading, organizing, controlling
TheFour Functions of Management
Inevery organization or business entity, whether local ormulti-national, should develop and implement management functions.Management therefore, can be defined as the function that directs andcoordinates people’s efforts towards accomplishing objectives andgoals in a business setup or an organization by using effectively andefficiently the available resources (Berkin, 2015)Thus, there arefour functions of management: Planning, leading, organizing, andcontrolling.
Forevery function stated, it plays an important role in the capabilityof the manager to support his or her organization’s strategic goalsand objectives. The organization’s management should be in a betterposition to demonstrate some level of proficiency in all four ofthese management functions. Management also encompasses manipulationand deployment of financial resources, natural resources, and humanresources. In addition, it can be referred to as an academicdiscipline, more so a social science, with an objective or a goal tolearn more of social organization.
Planningas a Function of Management
Onething that is more certain about any organization’s future ischange. Therefore, planning is an important bridge that connects thepresent and the future. It also increases the chance of achieving thedesired results. Planning is defined as the process of determiningwhether to try out a task, work out the best and most efficient wayof coming up with desired results, and prepare well to avoidunexpected difficulties, and with enough resources. Planning refersto the beginning of a process whereby an individual, business, or anorganization turns empty dreams into results and achievements(International Management Review, 2014).  It enables one toovercome the trap of trying hard but accomplishing very little interms of results. Planning is an initial investment with intangibleresults but eventually leads to success. It helps an organizationachieve desired effect from an initial input. In planning of anactivity within an organization, the administration is in idealposition to come up with particular goals and objectives, which couldguarantee that they are cut in accordance to the overall vision ofthe task. The organization sets a date to carry out a task.
Planningis thus done prior to the due date, with refinement and occasionalwatchful growth of the plan and the date. This is done byhighlighting tasks to be done by perfectly explaining and in linewith the timetable. This will guarantee that the plan is performedefficiently and effectively before the onset of the task. Planning asa function of management ensures that an organization in question isin a position to gather enough resources and effectively handle thetasks in the best possible way (Journal of Economics & ManagementStrategy, 2012). Planning ensures that the organization’s resourcesare conserved, make enough profit and be a useful firm. Again,planning enables a firm to figure out exactly what, where, when, andwhy they need to achieve the desired results.
Forexample, Melissa is a marketing manager of her organization. Her maingoal is to increase the number of sales by the end of February. Whatshe would be required to do is spend considerable amount of timemapping out and figuring out important steps she with her team ofrepresentatives, will have to follow in order to increase the numberof sales. What Melissa and her team are doing is referred to asplanning. Their steps may include activities like increasing thelevel of advertisement, preferably in areas where there is minimalawareness and demand. What they could include in their plan would bethings like specific items for sale, specific number of salesrepresentatives per every customer, and making contact with potentialcustomers to determine their level of demand on the product. Planningrepresents a cornerstone for effective formulation strategy in anybusiness of organization. As much as it may be considered to be thebackbone of management, most of the managers in a business settingare known to ignore. From the above example, Mellissa should be in abetter position to know that planning is a successful strategy thatwould see her overcome the odds and push for the organization’sproduct to the market (Journal of Economics & ManagementStrategy, 2012). Mellissa should know that she should evaluate herstrategy, which will involve good planning of organizing, givingmotivation, and handling organization’s activities.
Planningcan impact positively on an organization, business, or individualperformances. It allows for identification by the organization ofavailable external opportunities, while it minimizes the impact ofavailable external threats. Planning, especially within anorganization, involves extrapolating in the present from the pastinto the future. This function also includes coming up with a missionto forecast future trends and events, while establishing theobjectives and choosing strategic goals to pursue (Project ManagementInstitute, 2013).
Anyorganization can come up with a synergy as a result of planning. Wheneveryone within an organization pulls together as one team, there isexistence of sense in that kind of synergy. This is when all theindividuals are aware what to achieve, which in that case refersynergy to have the 21255 effect (Academy of Strategic Management,2013). To establish and communicate clear objectives, the managementteam and the employees within an organization can work effectivelytoward desire results. Powerful, competitive advantages can beachieved as a result of synergy. The process of strategic managementis often aimed at creating the kind of synergy needed in anorganization.
Finally,planning allow an organization to the changing market, and in turn isin a potion to change its destiny (Information Resources ManagementAssociation, 2012). Here, strategic management is viewed to be aformal process, which allows an organization to follow up onproactive and not reactive strategies. What successful organizationsare known to do is to control their futures and not react to theexternal events and forces as they happen. Historically, thoseorganizations or business that never conforms to change throughplanning became extinct. What is needed today is swift adaptation tochanging economies, markets, and competition. And for this to bedone, proper planning has to be done.
Organizingas a Function of Management
Thesole aim of organizing is to accomplish coordinated efforts throughdefinition of authority and task relationship, according to EuropeanJournal of International Management (2014). There are a few examplesthat goes back to history, which explain a well-establishedorganizations or business, which has successfully competed against,or in other cases defeated, what was considered stronger, but areless-organized institutions. A well-organized organization isgenerally characterized with motivated management executive team andemployees committed to seeing the success of the organization theywork in (International Journal of Integrated Supply Management,2012). Through organizing, resources are effectively allocated andefficiently used in a well-organized organization or business entitythan it is in less-organized one.
Managersare known to have finite amount of available resources, and they haveto use their organization skills to ensure they are effectively used.In Target retail stores for example, the management team are known tobalance simultaneously between the human resources and themerchandise inventory (International Journal of Management, 2014). AtTarget stores, it is possible that technologies are employed toensure the job of the management team becomes easier. Barcodescanners, for example, have made it possible for the managers to keephold of the running inventory of the entire products in the store.When a certain item is identified to be low on inventory, the teamcould then take the necessary action to order for the products forthe retail store. Additionally, time management software has beenused to tract Target’s employees, and ensures that the retail storeis fully staffed at all times (International Management DevelopmentAssociation, 2014). The use of technologies has greatly increased themanagement team’s ability to make well-informed decisions, choices,and effectively organize the resources.
Evenwith the use of technologies as seen at Target stores, organizing asa function of management is again viewed to consist of threeactivities sequentially related with each other. These includebreaking down of tasks into work-specialization jobs, jobscombination to create departments (departmentalization), anddelegation authority (British Academy of Management, 2012). To breakdown jobs requires job description development and specification ofjobs. The two tools make it clear for the management team and theemployees of what a particular within the organization, entail.
Tocombine jobs with the intention of getting results from thedepartments in an organizational structure, end up with a span ofcontrol and a command chain. A change in strategy requires a changein structure since new positions might be created, merged, or deleted(International Management Development Association, 2014). Thestructure within an organization dictates the manner in whichresources are often located and how the organization establishes itsobjectives. To allocate resources and establish objectives,especially geography for example, is a lot different thanaccomplishing it by the product or customer.
Themanagement team within an organization can carry out managementfunctions by following a number of steps. These steps includeidentification of activities, organizing activities within thedepartments, authority classification, and co-ordination between theauthority and responsibility (International Journal of Value-basedManagement, 2012). Identification of activities is handled first.These activities include making sales, accounts preparation, keepingrecords, and quality and inventory control. Within the department,activities are organized by combining groups with similar or relatedactivities into departments or manageable units (InternationalJournal of Human Resource Management, 2015). Classifying authoritygives ranks to ensure an order is created to form managerialhierarchy. With co-ordination relations are nurtured among differentgroups to guarantee smooth interaction towards organizationalobjectives and goals. This way, every individual within anorganization is made to be aware of his or her authority and whomthey are required to take orders from or are accountable. This way,all the employees are made to understand the organizationalstructure.
Leadingas a Function of Management
Leadingrefers to an alternative but paramount function of management. Thisis what a manager within an organization does to make sure thatwhatever errands delegated, are finished. Again, a great manager isrequired to be at the forefront as an exceptional guide. This isbecause tasks are instructed to be handles in an auspicious mannerand again up to particulars. To lead requires being in accordancewith the target of the venture or the task close by. There arecertain managers that do not bother to carry out a plan or evenorganize. This is because it depends on a specific approach of everysingle manager. A particular manager may have his or her own diversestyle of management. This is used to guarantee a fundamental need toincorporate conveyance of expectations, at the same time, keeping upwith the level of motivation of the workers.
Leadingcomes with motivation. Management team in an organization hasmastered the art of motivating their employees to ensure they are ina better position to influence them to accomplish specific goals andobjectives. With motivation, managers make sure their employees workharder than before. With leading alone, strategies, objectives,policies, and goals have minimal chance of succeeding if the managershave not motivated their employees, while leading (InternationalJournal of Management, 2014). The employees should be motivatedenough in order to implement objectives and strategies onceformulation is done.
Theleading function of the management includes four main sections:Leadership, communication, motivation, and change in organization.When in an organization, managers and their employees strive toachieve high productivity levels, this shows that there is goodleadership. Good leadership is characterized by rapport with amongthe subordinates, whose leaders empathize with concerns and needs setby the leaders (International Journal of Management Reviews, 2013).Leadership involves developing a clear vision of the organization’sfuture, at the same time, inspiring the same people to work harder toachieve set goals and objectives. International Journal of IntegratedSupply Management (2012) reported that there are particular traitsthat characterize who the effective leaders are. They includecognitive ability, honesty, drive, integrity, and self-confidence,and business knowledge.
Researchshows that certain behaviors in regard to the leader’s resultsreveal positive attitude towards change and high productivity thanthose with autocratic behavior. Through leading, management demandgroup dynamics to play a major role in boosting employee’ssatisfaction and morale to meet organization’s objectives andgoals. Leading coalitions from the management within an organizationmay range from being positive to negative (Information ResourcesManagement Association, 2012). Leadership thus dictates that strategyto lead identifies the nature and composition of informal groups tofacilitate formulation of strategy, evaluation, and implementationwith the management setting.
GlobalPartnership Management Journal (2011) observes that perhapscommunication is more important in leadership within the management,more so in regard to motivation. The system of leadership determineswhether communication strategies can successfully be implemented. Atwo-way communication between the management and employees isimportant for gaining divisional and departmental policies and goals.Top-down communication can encourage leadership through bottom-upcommunication (European Journal of International Management, 2014).Leadership in strategic-management would turn out to be a lot easierwhen the employees are lead to discuss and present their grievances,and the managers would be able to provide recommendations across theorganization. Leading, therefore, is a primary reason to institutestrategic management of the employees in an organization in order tobuild and encourage effective leadership networks throughcommunication within the organization.
Controllingas a Function of Management
Controllingas a function of management include all the activities taken to makesure actual operations adhere to the initially planned operations.Every manager within an organizational structure is mandated withcontrolling responsibilities. He or she is also mandated to carry outvaluation performance, at the same time, necessary actions tominimize inefficiencies that might arise. This function of managementis of particular importance, especially for effective evaluation ofstrategy (British Academy of Management, 2012). Controlling consistof four steps: Measuring organizational and individual performance,establishing performance standards, comparison of the actual andplanned performance standards, and handling corrective actions.
Tomeasure an individual performance is frequently conductedineffectively or none at all in the organizations. This setbackensures evaluations that may create confrontations in which themajority of managers choose to avoid. This could also take more timeto accomplish than a lot of managers are willing to provide, and thuscould require certain skills that the majority of managers do nothave (International Management Review, 2014). There is no singleapproach that could measure an individual’s performance withoutlimitations. In this regard, an organization should thus examine anumber of methods, for example, the graphic rating scale,behaviorally anchored scale, and critical incident method, whichwould then be used to select or develop performance appraisalapproach, which best suits an organization’s needs.
Reflectingon the functions of management, controlling is essentially whatconnects the previous three functions. This is because it regulatescontrolled set-up and executes particular novels, which concernsexecution, preparation, and time obligation (Journal of Economics &Management Strategy, 2012). In regulation of the process andexecution, checking and reporting is done multiple times to come upwith any progressions to be handled. This is done to ensure the tasksrun efficiently and smoothly, and if they have to change the assetsto achieve the target better, then altering of the faculty may bedone to meet the due dates. It thus reflects on the planning functionof the management.
Managerswithin management today are occupied and saturated with themanagement of intrusions, distinguishing blazes, and rushing formeetings. Decisions made in such meetings do not often produce thedesired results. These results may be required for controlling someskills to be in a better position to change arising situations. Thewhole process of controlling can therefore be regarded as a constantmonitor to establish objectives and goals. Journal of Market-focusedManagement (2013) observes that innovation is a force that wouldallow improvements to be executed on an organization’s goals andobjectives. Managers can therefore look for certain innovativeopportunities that would improve the organization’s performance.
InTarget Corporation for example, managers are known to scramble forinnovative products, and again to innovate data practices of theircustomers after a massive security breach (Project ManagementInstitute, 2013). In this regard, compromise of the customer’s datahas given the managers added motivation, which is required to controland handle the situation better, while looking out for innovativeideas to prevent identical future occurrence. Finally, controlling asa function of management is the last but important stage ofmanagement function. This is because it includes setting up andhandling certain standards achieved within an organization. Thefunction involve evaluation of results, which is in comparison withthe standards set and incase of any emerging variations.Additionally, it helps the management to come up the needed measures.
Forany organization to succeed, these four management functionsplanning, leading, organizing, and controlling, are consideredcrucial. Today, managers in every reputable organization are filledwith management intrusions. To learn how to balance each of the fourmanagement functions, will prompt a successful administration. Inorder for every administration in an organization to be successfuland productive, first, it has to accomplish targets and objectiveswithin the organization. To do this, inventive understanding isrequired in each of the four management functions. Additionally,along these lines, success demands that the administration be a lotmore productive and successful.
Accordingly,it should accomplish set objectives and goals, at the same time,engage in a manner that expenses to be incurred for accomplishment,is feasible. Finally, while there may a change in management trends,a trend have since been defined, which aims at embracing marketdiversity through management functions. Managers have since opted fortraining to be in apposition to encourage immense quality within thework place. This they do by increasing flexibility levels throughretraining and innovation. Training has therefore resulted in usingmeasurement techniques, better employee working environment, and withcharismatic sense of leadership.
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