What Are The Functions Of Management?

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Management is the most crucial aspect of any business. Various experts have defined management in their own ways and outlined certain core functions of management. The latter is broadly outlined into 5 categories i.e., planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling.

To understand the concepts in detail, they have been segregated into these five headings, but they are interoperable and interdependent. The way each function is carried out impacts the performance of the other four as well.

Let’s take a look at these 5 functions in detail:

  1. Planning

According to management guru, Peter F. Drucker,

“Planning is the continuous process of making present entrepreneurial decisions systematically and with best possible knowledge of their futurity, organizing systematically the efforts needed to carry out these decisions and measuring the results of these decisions against the expectations through organized and systematic feedback”.

Planning is the fundamental block of management. Through this process, the strategies and future course of action and taking decisions that will help in the achievement of these goals are made possible.

During the planning process, business managers analyze the goals of the organization and contemplate the various resources required to achieve them. Subsequently, plans are laid out to optimize the human and material resources towards that end. Through planning, it is possible to avoid confusion, wastage, reduce uncertainties, risks, and clashes, etc.

  1. Organizing

Once the plans are laid out, it is time to organize the physical, financial, and human resources and create structured relationships between the various factors for optimization. Henry Fayol, the famous French engineer, stated, “To organize a business is to provide it with everything useful or its functioning i.e. raw material, tools, capital and personnel’s”. There are certain steps involved in the process of organizing which are:

●      Identifying the activities to be carried out

●      Classifying the activities into groups

●      Assignment of duties

●      Creating the authority structure and creation of accountability

●      Coordinating authority and ensuring the smooth functioning of the relationships.

3. Staffing

After the organization’s structure has been finalized, the next step is to fill the various roles and positions with quality human resources. This process is known as staffing and it is of great importance in the technology-driven business of today. The key to getting staffing right is to find horses for the courses. Apart from hiring, the staffing functions also ensure personnel management, development, training, and appraisal.

Staffing has functions such as:

●      Human resources planning

●      Hiring, training, and development

●      Remuneration

●      Performance Appraisal

●      Promotions and transfer

4. Directing

Once an organization has been structured and personnel as well as resources put in place for carrying out the roles and responsibilities, the next managerial activity is to direct the organization forward. There is a stark difference between leadership and management in an organization.

The business leaders such as the founder, CEO, and various heads of departments are tasked with overall course planning and execution for the organization. However, management is the activity that is carried out by all personnel at different levels of hierarchy. Directing is the activity which influences, guides, monitors, motivates as well as course corrects the subordinates to keep everyone focused and optimized for the organization’s success.

There are the following elements of direction:

●      Supervision – Monitoring the performance of the teams

●      Motivation – Inspiring, and encouraging the person to enhance their desire to improve performance and output.

●      Leadership – The process wherein a manager directs the efforts of subordinates towards the goal.

Communication – Issuing clear instructions, information sharing, feedback and clarity of tasks.

5. Controlling

The proponents of the five functions of management, Koontz & O’Donnell have outlined controlling as, “the measurement & correction of performance activities of subordinates in order to make sure that the enterprise objectives and plans desired to obtain them as being accomplished”.

Controlling is the measuring of achievement in accordance with the standards set by the organization and performing any course corrections if needed. Controlling is necessary to ensure that all processes go on according to the path that has been laid out for each.

●      Controlling involves certain steps such as:

●      Creating performance standards

●      Comparing actual performance with the standards set and identify errors or deviations

●      Taking corrective steps

Conclusion

Management is the driving force that propels an organization in the direction of its goals. The efficiency of the management directly determines how well or how poorly a business will perform and sustain itself. Hence, a thorough understanding of the above management concepts and their implementation is essential for all.