Functions of Management
Perhaps, management is the key factor for achievement of organizational goals and objectives both ethically and efficiently. The chief problem of managers is to solve problems creatively. According to most scholars, management is depicted as being entirely a technical activity that engrosses rational quest the most resourceful way of achieving certain goals and objectives. For this reason, many a times, management is depicted as a technical and rational undertaking of ‘planning, organizing, leading and controlling’, (Watson, 2001). Arguably, these bases of management try to give us a clear picture of what being a manager as well as managing is all about. As such, the main objective of this easy is to show how the four bases of management have been used to define who really managers based their roles, as well as arguing that the managing role is defined by high levels of morality and good use of authority or power in addition to the functions of management, (David & Roberts, 1982)
According to Watson (2006), planning is a very essential factor in management. Actually, of the four functions in the management practice, it is the first device. Arguably, it defines the difference between unsuccessful and a successful manager. In this context, planning can be said to be a rational judgment through goals and coming up with a decision on the way forward aiming at teaching or rather achieving organizational goals and objectives. According to David & Roberts (1982), this is the process that managers use to prepare for the future. For instance, through planning, managers can be able to forecast probable problems, make decisive conclusions on how to face such problems and also, how to stay ahead of competition. Arguably, there are three major types of planning that are undertaken by managers in their organizations: strategic planning, operational planning and tactical planning.
Organization is another function of management. Undeniably, reaching the outlined organizational objective in the planning process requires structuring of work within the organization. Basically, organization is all about how the internal structure of an organization is strategically arranged. Organization involves assigning people various responsibilities that intermingle to develop a single purpose to realize the goals and objectives. In most cases, the values and procedures of an organization act as the benchmark of achieving these goals and objectives. It is the responsibility of the manager to organize the resources as well as the employees of the company, (Roberts, 1984). Precisely, the key roles of the manager as far as organization is concerned are: division, coordination, task control as well as flow of information.
Quality of leadership demonstrated in an organization determines the degree of success of the organization. David & Roberts (1982) asserted that, leaders can be managers, but managers cannot automatically be leaders. Leadership concerns the ability a person to persuade other people to encourage actions towards achieving predetermined goals and objectives. As mentioned previously, management of employees is one of the roles of the manager. However, in the case of a leader, his responsibilities include; ensuring that tasks are accomplished within the specified time period and according to the policies of the organization. Besides, he/she motivates, instructs, and councils employees in addition to providing guidance, with an aim of assisting them to achieve the goals of the organization. Consequently, for effective management, managers usually try to embrace the attributes of leadership in the process of executing their responsibilities.
The final function of management is controlling. This is the process that guarantees proper implementation of plans. According to Roberts (1984) this is the final link of the functions of management activities and it completes the cycle of management activities. Actually, standards of performance are set based on the control function of management. It involves the comparison of the actual work performed and what was expected. Watson (2001) asserts that, this is the process that ensures that work done in the organization is according to way it was desired. In addition to monitoring the implementation of plans, it also helps in evaluation of the process of management. Thus, control assists managers to identify any failures and employ corrective measures to swiftly to ensure everything gets back to normal. Control function in management should not be baffled with behavioral control point of view. It is only associated with the role of managers of ensuring that the work of the workforce to is as per the intended goals and objectives an organization, (David & Roberts, 1982)
However, it should be noted, managers can also be defined by the way they handle themselves in the process of carrying out their management duties. For example, Watson (1996) argues that, many people tend to believe that effectiveness and morality on the part of managers go hand in hand. On the contrary, others argue that pursuit of effectiveness by managers may fail to engross moral issues based on the claim that their daily undertakings relies on their ability influence other people into submissive modes of behavior. In the real sense, managers should be morally neutral and they only become effective in their practice by conceding the moral character, (Roberts, 1984).
Management is also depicted in terms of technical and rational aspects. Form the technical point of view; it is critical that the managers have the knowledge and the proper skills to assist them in running organizations. This includes the technical ability to develop suitable frameworks of values, visions and management principles that help them as well as the organization to function efficiently, and attain their set goals, (Roberts, 1984). On the other hand, the managers’ rational ability allows them to formulate different courses of action, and perhaps most critically, allow them to choose between different alternatives. Rationality derives from both the capacity to manage, but also draws from the analytical, creative and critical capacity of the leaders and or managers.
Finally, the model of functions of management; precisely, planning, organizing, leading, and controlling can be said to be the best way in which the roles of managers can be explained, as well as to analyze what management is. Moreover, management can also be seen from the technical and rational roles of managers in most organizations. Undeniably, tremendous environmental changes faced by managers as well as changes of the managerial tools, managers still undertake these fundamental functions. This is because these functions play a very significant role in the success of organizations as far as achievement of their goals and objectives are concerned.
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Roberts, J. 1984. “The Moral Character of Management Practice”, Journal of management
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Watson, T. 2006. Organizing and Managing Work, 2nd edn. London, UK: Penguin
Watson, T. 2001. In Search of Management, Revised edn, London, UK: Thompson Publishers
Watson, T. 1996. “How do Managers Think”, Management Learning, Vol. 127, No. 3, 323-341.