The primary challenge in business and management is to solve problems, make decisions and formulate plans and strategies creatively. In order to solve this puzzle principles of management have been categorized into four functions; Planning, Organizing, Leading and controlling, or POLC (NidhiChoudhary, 2012). The POLC framework provides the fundamental skills of management required for a business to reach a high executive level (Der Foo and Tan, 2002). These elements and how the parts they play in benefiting a business are discussed below:
Planning involves setting objectives and determining the policies and procedures of achieving these objectives. Planning is the notion of strategizing in deciding where a business should be heading and the means of getting there (NidhiChoudhary, 2012). It involves a consideration of the opportunities and threats the business may be facing, and in determining how well to use the available opportunities in achieving the goals (Der Foo and Tan, 2002). The planners should be aware of the factors and challenges facing the business in terms of competition, customers, political, and economic conditions.
Planning should be in relation to the objectives of an organization, and the planners should possess skills to identify multiple means of achieving these objectives. They must ensure that the intended steps are effective in meeting the objectives. Planning may take different forms; strategic, tactic and operational (NidhiChoudhary, 2012). However, whichever form is selected has to meet the key aims of planning which are inclusive of identification, viewing, definition, selection, and choosing of strategies of action. This allows integration and coordination of business activities, which ensure business growth.
Organizing involves defining, arranging, and structuring staff relationships. It involves determining the resources needed by staff and establishing productive working environments for staff. It also involves delegating and assigning duties and staff as well as equipment supervision. Business management requires organization skills so that there is a facilitation of coordination between human resources and the organizational structure (Thomas and Pandey, 2009). Organization skills enhance proper working relationships, employee motivation, and maximum productivity.
Leading implies measures undertaken in securing and influencing workers in achieving the business objectives. It involves the provision of directions, motivation, and negotiating with staff to facilitate them in accomplishing the goals. Effective leadership skills involve being inspirational to others. This allows a creation of management-staff relationship, which allows an understanding of the workers’ personalities, values and attitudes.
Leadership skills also equip managers with communication skills and their applicability in motivating workers. It provides direction on how managers can persuasively and effectively communicate to every worker (NidhiChoudhary, 2012). This creates a feeling of ‘being wanted’ among the workers and allows them to work productively.
Controlling is a function of monitoring and evaluating performance (Der Foo and Tan, 2002). It involves setting of performance standards which are based on the objectives, comparing or measuring actual performance with standards, and taking action where necessary. It is a measure of how well an organization is accomplishing its objective, and the actions needed in improving performance. The controlling function of a business ensures that the business activities proceed according to plan. Effective controls provide a platform for the valuable feedback mechanisms which can be used in the formulation of policies (Thomas and Pandey, 2009).
In summary, the POLC functions can be defined as means of describing a manager’s job. The functions do not stand separately but may differ at the management level. However, at all levels managers have to plan, organize, lead and control business functions so that the objectives of the business are met.
Der Foo, M., & Tan, H. H. (2002). CRITICAL INCIDENTS IN HIGH-TECH START-UPS. Technological Entrepreneurship (HC), Vol. 2, 185.
NidhiChoudhary, M. (2012). MANAGERIAL EFFECTIVENESS: MAKE AND SHARE BEST BETS ABOUT WHERE THE WORLD IS GOING. DMIETR, 6.
Thomas, C., & Pandey, V. (2009). Relationship between Personality and Managerial Performance. Central Test Psychology International.