Describe the four basic functions of management

Management occupies a critical role in virtually every organization. Various organizations exist to perform or realize diverse objectives. A school, for instance, could be an organization designed to instruct learners holistically to help them prepare for an advanced stage of their life path. Over the course of achieving organizational goals, institutions deploy varying resources in a bid to achieve goals successfully. Management thus comes in to enable an organization to utilize resources correctly and steer the organization toward achieving its objectives. The basic functions determined to form the basis of management are planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. The above basic functions are the basis of management; thus, a manager will always use them in any management instance.

Planning

Planning denotes the procedural approach to the formulation of decisions regarding objectives and actions that an organization will undertake. Everywhere, the process of management starts with planning. In essence, managers must first develop an action plan of objectives and the course way to achieve their goals. The action plan describes the goals and steps to achieve the set objectives. Planning has diverse phases consisting of contextual analysis and the formulation of decisions based on the findings of the analysis. In the contextual analysis phase, a manager examines their internal environment, i.e., the culture, values, and abilities of team members, and external, i.e., the external competition, legal factors, the economy, population dynamics, technology, and societal values. In the next phase, the manager uses their findings from contextual analysis to design objectives and actions. A manager needs to perform the steps mentioned above as this provides adequate context for a plan with a future direction. Managers must also ensure their plan synchronizes with the organization’s vision.

Organizing

Organizing is gathering and deploying the diverse resources available to an organization, such as labor, finances, physical resources, and information necessary to achieve organizational goals. The essence of organizing is pulling the resources mentioned above to support the organizational goals. Under this function, labor organization implies allocating duties, assigning authority, and creating hierarchy. Subsequently, organizing finances means ensuring capital exploitation in accomplishing set objectives. The consolidation of physical resources relates to the usefulness of such resources in relation to their use and positioning in an organization. Lastly, consolidation of informational resources concerns gathering and distributing informational resources to the workforce in a manner that advances the achievement of objectives. Essentially, the organizing phase entails operationalizing the plan created in the earlier phase. In particular, the main actions of this phase include deciding those who will execute particular steps of the plan and accountability of each person, the utilization of capital resources during an undertaking, and the utilization of physical as well as informational resources. Despite the definition of roles, the plan also promotes teamwork among the individuals involved in executing the plan across various departments.

Leading

This function is concerned with the leadership aspect of management, the part dealing with the inspiration of employees towards achieving a particular goal. Leading refers to inducing the workforce to give their best to an organizational endeavor. It may also concern conditioning the workforce to accept an organizational set of objectives or plans. Owing to the provided description, leading entails connecting with employees or the workforce on an intimate or personal level. As mentioned earlier, the step helps a manager obtain better insights regarding the factors driving individual employees. In turn, this knowledge helps the manager to formulate tactics for inducing or rousing the workforce to develop the urge to perform. Leading is a very critical aspect; its absence would be counterproductive to organizational plans to meet desired goals. Organizations can formulate the best plans; however, attainment of set goals rests upon the motivation of employees. Thus, an intimate involvement of employees regarding set objectives is critical for an organization or management yearning for success.

Controlling

Controlling refers to the mechanisms restraining the performance of an organization in the desired direction and changing plans to remain on track. Some of the duties managers perform within this function include supervising the workforce, ensuring they meet deadlines, and ensuring the plan stays within allocated resources. The controlling referred to herein is healthy controlling, distinct from the extreme form known as micro-managing—micromanaging aims to institute controls in every step, however small. However, healthy control (the mild form) entails the institution of procedures to ensure the organization remains on course to meet the objectives earlier set in the planning phase. Under this phase, a manager will usually evaluate organizational performance and institute changes when necessary.

Conclusion

Summarily, management occupies a critical position in most organizations. It leverages the resources of an organization in an attempt to help an organization achieve set objectives. A review of diverse literature finds that management comprises four functions: planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. As earlier mentioned, planning is the process of creating goals and the plan to achieve them. Organizing refers to the operationalization of the plan by creating an organizational framework and assigning resources. Leading refers to motivating the workforce towards the realization of organizational plans. Lastly, control refers to the measures to ensure the plan is unfolding as envisioned and making changes to ensure the organization remains on track to meet its objectives.

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