Functions of Management
Management is an activity consisting of a distinct process – the management process – which is primarily concerned with the important task of goal achievement. Every business enterprise has certain pre-determined objectives. Just as in a football or hockey team, howsoever expert the players might be, they cannot defeat the rival team until and unless they make an integrated effort under the direction of an able captain.
Similarly, no business enterprise can achieve its objectives until and unless all the members of the unit make an integrated and planned effort under the direction of a central coordinating agency.
In management terminology, this central co-ordinating agency is technically known as ‘M-A-N-A-G-E-M-E-N-T’ and the procedure of getting things done is known as ‘Management Process.’ The process, in general, is defined as a series of operations or actions conducted to an end. The logic of the management process is that particular functions are performed in a sequence through time. In other words, whatever functions are performed by a manager and the sequence in which they are performed is designated as a “Management Process”.
Management has been described as a social process involving responsibility for economical and effective planning and regulation of the operation of an enterprise in the fulfilment of given purposes. It is a dynamic process consisting of different elements and activities. These activities are different from operative functions like finance, marketing, purchasing, etc. Rather these activities are common to every manager irrespective of his status or level.
The acronym which formulates the responsibility of a chief executive or administrator stands for planning, organising, staffing, directing and leading, coordinating, and controlling
Planning is the conscious determination of a future course of action to achieve the desired outcomes. Henry Fayol observes that management should chalk out a plan of action which is the result envisaged, the line of action to be followed, the methods to use and the stages to go through. It is the procedure of thinking before doing. It means the determination of how and where it is to be done, what is to be done, who is to do it and how outcomes are to be evaluated.
This step involves mapping out exactly how to achieve a certain objective. For example, the organisation’s goal is to improve company sales. The manager first needs to decide which steps are required to accomplish the goal. These steps may include increasing inventory, advertising, and sales staff. These important steps are developed into a plan. When the plan is in place, the manager can follow it to achieve the objective of improving company sales.
It is the process of dividing work into convenient tasks or duties, grouping such duties in the form of posts, of delegating authority to each so that work is carried out as planned. The organisation contributes to the efficiency of the enterprise. Through this process, all the activities necessary for goal achievement are performed and repetition and duplication of activities are avoided, thereby reducing operational costs in the organisation.
The second function of the management is getting prepared, and getting organised. Management must or in the base resources well before in hand to put into practice the course of action to decide what has been planned in the base function. Through this process, management will now determine the inside directorial configuration; establish and maintain relationships, and also assign needed resources.
It means manning the positions created by the organisation process. This process includes the selection of candidates for positions, fixing financial compensation, training and development, transfer, promotion, etc. After a manager discerns his area’s needs, he may decide to beef up his staffing by recruiting, selecting, training, and developing employees’ skills.
A manager in a large organisation often works with the company’s human resources department to achieve this goal. Staffing assists in the selection of the right person for the right job. The manager can conveniently perform the duties of the job description, job analysis, appraisal of efficiency, etc., which come under the staffing function.
Directing and Leading
Once subordinates are oriented, the superior has a continuous responsibility of guiding and leading them to better work performance and motivating them to work with zeal, confidence, and enthusiasm. Direction is the key to the achievement of the desired outcome. It is that part of the managerial function which actuates the organisational methods to work efficiently for the attainment of organisational goals.
It is considered the life spark of the enterprise which sets in motion the action of people because planning, organising and staffing are mere preparations for doing the work. Direction is that inert-personnel aspect of management which deals directly with influencing, supervising, guiding, and motivating sub-ordinate for the attainment of organisational goals.
Leading is the most important element in directing. Leading involves motivating, communicating, guiding, and encouraging. It requires the manager to assist, coach, and problem-solve with employees. Once subordinates are oriented, the superior has a continuous responsibility of guiding and leading them to better work performance and motivating them to work with zeal, confidence, and enthusiasm.
Direction is the key to the accomplishment of the desired result. Leading involves the implementation of plans by mobilising individuals and group efforts through motivation, communication, leadership and supervision. Directing may be defined as the process of activating the efforts of employees towards the accomplishment of organisational goals.
After the other components of the organisation are in place, a manager’s job is not finished. He needs to continually check results against goals and take any corrective actions necessary to make sure that his area’s plans remain on track. It involves the process of visualising whether the activities have been performed or are being performed in the same way as mentioned in the plans because any deviation will result in inefficiency in the organisation. The controlling function brings to light the deviations if any and assists the management in making the required changes in the policies or plan.
Management control can be defined as a systematic effort by business management to compare performance to predetermined plans, standards, or objectives to determine whether performance is in line with these standards. It is also used to determine, presumably, if any remedial action is needed to ensure that human and other corporate resources are being used most effectively and efficiently possible to achieve corporate objectives.