Management: Four Functions of a Manager
“A manager’s primary challenge is to solve problems creatively” (Carpenter, Bauer, Erdogan, 2006). Manager is supposed to be able to plan the entire company’s activity as well as the performance of its employees; this person needs to organize all of the working processes in the most sufficient way in order to reach the target; manager has to be a leader so that other workers would not only listen to him\her, but would also respect the decision taken; moreover management position requires the ability to control company’s processes, thus, to make sure the organization is moving forward.
Therefore, the four functions of a manager are recognized as following: planning – includes settlement of company’s vision and mission, development of a strategy, set up of goals and objectives; organizing – contains the organizational structure development and human resources distribution; leading – “involves the social and informal sources of influence that you use to inspire action taken by others” (Carpenter, Bauer, Erdogan, 2006); controlling – consists of three steps: performance standards establishment, company’s actual performance analysis conduction, strategy adjustments implementation.
For this assignment my personal experience of working as a Training Specialist for a government agency with an appointed agency director as my manager (further Mr. Forest) will be used to analyze Mr. Forests’ managing performance.
The pro of his performance was a clear establishment ob target objectives, which was giving the team an understanding of the key factors to perform. The cons were recognized as following: Mr. Forest was mostly making positive forecasts, thus, when the situation did not equal the hopes, a new plan had to be developed within a very short period of time; moreover, my manager preferred to identify only one course of action, which was not flexible for the team and the company.
If I had to take my managers’ position, I would concentrate more on creation of several action plans within both: positive and negative market forecasts.
Within my experience I observed Mr. Forest arranging weekly meetings with the team in order to distribute tasks. Moreover, he was willing to provide the team with the necessary resources, which were discussed during the meetings. Usually, the requested materials (if they were available and agreed to be provided) were delivered within one week.
However, my manager was not familiar with the complete list of responsibilities and duties of each employee, he did not pay much attention to the individuals’ job design, thus, sometimes he took unreasonable decisions due to his own preferences, which were over beneficial to one and over unfair for another.
In my opinion, it would be better to spend some more time exploring the specific duties of each individual to obtain a more clear vision of how the tasks should be distributed.
The good outcome from such his behavior was a high level of employee’s empowerment. However, the negative effects dominated more: general employees’ demotivation; great ideas were not shared, thus, not implemented; numerous tasks were supposed to be redone.
I believe that a significant improvement of the Relationship Qualities (25 Qualities and Characteristics of a Good Manager, 2011) was necessary: taking a role of mediator, being always open for others, becoming a trusted friend. The Communication Qualities like public speaking ability and providing employees with a detailed constructive feedback would also improve the situation (25 Qualities and Characteristics of a Good Manager, 2011).
During the weekly meetings Mr. Forest was collecting the oral reports about the completed work and its results. The written reports were sent to him prior the meeting, so he was acknowledged about the tasks statuses before the discussion. At the end of each meeting he was editing our tasks due to the meetings’ outcome and the decisions made.
In my opinion, such a performance of a managerial controlling function was suitable, since it motivated employees to constantly show the results of their work, raise necessary questions and effectively find the solution accepted by manager.
I agree with the opinion that “the management functions of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling are widely considered to be the best means of describing the manager’s job, as well as the best way to classify accumulated knowledge about the study of management” (Carpenter, Bauer, Erdogan, 2006). These functions describe specific requirements of what a good manager should be like and what would be his duties. Moreover, the characteristics of four functions correlate with the diversified list of qualities the manager should obtain in order to succeed. For the company it is vital that the manager does his\her best in order to improve each managerial function to maximum, but due to my personal experience, I would consider the Leading function as the most important. Because manager does not exist without the team, the team needs to feel the need in their manager.
Carpenter, M., Bauer, T., Erdogan, B. (2006). Principles of Management: Planning, organizing, Leading and Controlling. Flat World Education, Inc, v 1.1.
Retrieved from: http://catalog.flatworldknowledge.com/bookhub/reader/6?e=fwk-127512-ch01_s03
(19th of October, 2011). 25 Qualities and Characteristics of a Good Manager. PHD in Management. Retrieved from: http://www.phdinmanagement.org/25-qualities-and-characteristics-of-a-good-manager.html