5 Functions of management

5 Functions of management

Contemporary managers are tasked with inspiring and leading individuals working under them. The functions of management include fulfiling what it takes to ensure that the business is operational and planning for team success. There are five primary functions through which the management is expected to interact with the team members. Different experts have different views concerning the management functions. We urge you to read on because we will provide you with the views of various experts about the functions of management. To have a good understanding of the functions of management, you need first to analyze what management is all about.

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Management is understood as a social process that involves responsibility for effective planning and regulation of operations of an organization in the fulfilment of a specific goal. Management is a dynamic process that consists of various activities and element. It involves solving problems within a business or organization to reach the desired objectives, with the primary aim of understanding the functions of management. As the experts started theorizing or studying the significance of management, different concepts and areas concerning the functions were born. Managers are not expected to go out haphazardly to perform their responsibilities. They should discover how to master the functions of management to meet the goal of the organization.

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Basic functions of management

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Below are the five basic management functions that a manager needs to master:

1. Planning

Planning is the first managerial function. This function involves developing a detailed plan through which the specific objective of the organization can be achieved. Planning is concerned with identifying the tasks that are significant for achieving the desired goals, and outlining how the functions should be performed. The long-term and short-term success of a business is dependent on the plans it makes.

An example of planning is when you have an objective of increasing the sales of the business by 20% the following year. In this case, you are expected to identify different ways through which you and your team members can achieve the goal. To achieve the goal you might focus on reducing prices, talking to customers concerning their shopping plans, and creating a new advertisement and promotion plan. Your responsibility as a manager is to pick the most appropriate processes and organize them into a logical pattern and identify the timeline.

Planning is essential because it provides an organization or business with a better sense of what it wants to achieve and how to achieve it. It is believed that one will essentially have more focus after they have planned for things. Think of someone who goes into a big job interview without having any plan.

2. Organizing

Organizing is the second management function. It is concerned with the use of the plan to bring together financial and physical resources to be used in achieving the goal of an organization or a business. In our example, if you planned to increase sales in the next financial year, then you should determine how the resources should be divided to put the plan in place.

The above plan will help you obtain information about the available resources and those that you need. After obtaining all the required resources, you should arrange them for the right tasks. Organizing may be organizing the finances, appointing personnel to specific jobs, and ensuring the right equipment is being used.

Organizing function is necessary because it ensures there is structure to the operations. In addition, it makes you aware of the resources and helps you make sure that the resources are utilized in such a manner that facilitates the achievement of an organization's goal. Consequently, organizing ensures that you use money in the right way meaning that you will not use the money on functions that do not add value to the organization.

3. Staffing

Staffing is the third function of management. This function is an essential function of management, despite the fact it is sometimes left out when discussing the core functions. It is related to the organizing function because they both focus on making sure that resources are directed to the right tasks and processes. It is different from the organisational function in that it focuses on people regarding the organizational objectives.

The staffing function aims to ensure that an organization or business has employees in the right positions. It also ensures that the structure of the organization is not hindered by excess or lack of personnel. As a manager, you would be identifying the tasks ahead of you and determining if you have the right workforce to achieve the objectives of the organization.

For example, if you want to increase your sales by 20% next year, you should analyze if your staff has the capability of performing the task. You should also determine if the employees are enough to ensure the objective is met on time.

Staffing is vital for a manager to master because, without the right number of employees and the right employees, an organization cannot achieve its goals. It is crucial to get the right number of people because of the changing technology of enhanced focus on human behaviour. Staffing guarantees the operational functionality of an organization or business. Without the right number of employees, you will find it hard to achieve your organizational goals.

4. Directing

Directing is the fourth managerial function. It is also understood as the leading or influencing the function of management. This function is concerned with the actuation of the ways to work effectively to achieve the goal of the organization. It goes beyond the organization of the employees to their specific roles. It also involves ensuring that the employees of the organization can perform their tasks. In simple terms, directing is looking after productivity by ensuring that it is always increasing.

The directing function digs deeper into human interactions. This makes the manager inspire, motivate, and communicate with his or her personnel. Here, the manager meets and connects with his or her employees to obtain information about the progress of the tasks. As a manager, you need to talk to the employees about new initiatives such as marketing programs, get their feedback about the project and focus on inspiring them. In summary, the directing function is concerned with the day-to-day interaction between the management and the staff.

Directing is significant for the organization because it helps strengthen the operations of the organization thus, improving its productivity. It achieves this by ensuring that all parts of the organization are working together and better. The function is a bridge between the human requirements and the operational needs of the organization. With the directing role, you will be creating a link between the need of keeping the employees motivated and the need of turning in profit. Consequently, directing aims at improving productivity, meaning that you are strengthening the organization’s success.

5. Controlling

Controlling is the final function of management. The role of this function is to ensure that all the other four functions are followed in the correct manner. It also ensures that the flow of work is helping the organization achieve its objectives.

In our example about increasing sales by 20%, control will ensure that the sales are growing. When the sales are decreasing, the controlling function will correct the situation if the target is not getting closer. You will be required to assess the process set forward and determine if they are increasing the sales of the organization. The controlling function demands you to evaluate the objectives measurably. You should set standards that guarantee you understand exactly what your goal is and what counts as failure or success. Due to the set standards, controlling enables you as a manager to correct behaviours if they affect the achievement of the organizational goals. In other words, control is concerned with quality monitoring.

Controlling is an essential function in an organization because it provides you with a risk-reduction ability. You will only be monitoring the team performance and comparing it with the set objectives. If you notice that the marketing campaign is not producing increased sales, you can alter it to attract more customers. You can change the campaign attractiveness and recover the situation.

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Henri Fayol functions of management

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Below are managerial functions proposed by Henri Fayol. The functions focus very little on informal interactions between the manager and subordinates.

1. Planning

Henri Fayol provides that managers should plan for future conditions, establish strategic objectives and ensure the attainment of future goals. Therefore, managers need to analyze future contingencies influencing the organization and shape the future strategic and operational landscape of the organization.

2. Organizing

Managers are expected to organize the employees efficiently and align the activities of the organization. They should also train and recruit the right people for the job.

3. Commanding

Fayol provides that managers should supervise the employees during their activities, and inspire them to achieve the organization’s goals. It is the responsibility of managers to communicate the goals and policies of the organization to the employees.

4. Coordinating

Managers should harmonize the activities and procedures performed by the organization. This means that all the activities of all the departments within the organization should complement and at the same time enrich the work of one another.

5. Controlling

Managers should ensure that the activities of the organization are in line with the set policies and objectives. In case of any deviations, the manager should report it and come up with initiatives to correct the deviations.

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Kotter functions of management

Kotter believed that the primary function of management is to ensure order and consistency to the organization. Below are management functions proposed by Kotter and their descriptions:

1. Planning and Budgeting

  • Establish agendas
  • Set timetables
  • Allocate resources

2. Organizing and Staffing

  • Provide structure
  • Make job placements
  • Establish rules and procedures

3. Controlling and Problem Solving

  • Develop incentives
  • Generate creative solutions
  • Take corrective actions

Functions of management by Gullick

According to Gullick, the elements of management are:

1. Planning

A manager should have a broad outline of all the things that need to be done and the methods to accomplish them.

2. Organizing

This involves the establishment of a formal structure of authority by which tasks are arranged.

3. Staffing

Is a whole personnel function of recruiting and training staff

4. Directing

Involves making decisions and embodying them in general and specific orders

5. Co-coordinating

DThe uty of interrelating the various parts of the work

6. Reporting

Informing those to whom the executive is responsible

7. Budgeting

This involves monetary planning of the cash operations of the organization

Functions of management hierarchy

  • First, the management hierarchy creates a path of accountability for every activity and project within the organization. It helps to determine the point of failure, repair it and then let the persons responsible learn from the experience.
  • Second, the management hierarchy guides the employees. It helps the employees understand whom he or she should receive orders from.
  • Third, the management hierarchy helps in establishing an efficient communication path between departments, employees, and divisions of the organization. A manager's understanding of his or her staff makes him or her able when it comes to the improvement of communication in his or her department.
  • Finally, the management hierarchy provides each employee with a clear career path. It helps employees determine their career goals.

For the smooth functioning of the organization, managers should perform the above functions of management. We emphasize that all managers irrespective of skill or aptitude should engage in the above functions of management. The management functions will improve interactions between the managers and the employees, thus, motivating employees to meet the goals of the organization.

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