This article throws light upon the six important functions of management. The functions are: 1. Planning 2. Staffing 3. Coordination 4. Organising 5. Direction 6. Control.
Functions of Management:
Function # 1. Planning:
Planning helps in determining the course of action to be adopted for achieving various organizational objectives. It is a decision in advance, i.e. what to do, when to do, how to do and who will do a particular job. Planning is a process which involves ‘thinking before doing.’
Planning is related with the mental state of a manager. He thinks before undertaking a work. Other functions of management such as organising, staffing directing, coordinating and controlling are also undertaken after planning function is complete.
As per Terry, “Planning is the selecting relating of facts the making as well as using of assumptions regarding the future in the visualisation and formulations of proposed activities believed necessary to achieve desired results.”
Planning is a process of looking ahead. The primary objective of planning is to achieve better results. It involves the decision regarding organizational objectives and developing policies, procedures, programmes, budgets and strategies. Planning is a continuous process that works at all levels of management.
A detailed planning is done in the beginning but the actual performance is reviewed and suitable changes are incorporated in plans when actual execution is done. Plans may be of many types, such as short range plans, medium range plans, standing plans, single use plans, strategic plans, administrative and operational plans.
The process of planning involves a number of steps:
(i) Collecting information
(ii) Laying down objectives,
(iii) Developing premises
(iv) Examining alternative courses of action
(v) Evaluation of working
(vi) Reviewing imitations of the system and
(vii) Implementation of plans for achieving the targets.
Function # 2. Organising:
Every business enterprise requires the services of a number of people to look after its different aspects. The management decides the goals to be achieved by its manpower.
The energy of every individual is channelized to achieve the enterprise objectives. The function of organising is to arrange, co-ordinate, direct and control the activities of all factors of production i.e., men, materials, machines and money in order to achieve the targets of the enterprise/unit.
According to Louis A. Allen, “the process of identifying and grouping work to be done, defining and delegating responsibility and authority and establishing relationships for the purpose of enabling people to work most effectively together in accomplishing objectives.”
The process of organization involves the following steps:
(i) Identification of the work to be performed.
(ii) To group the work of similar nature.
(iii) To assign these groups of activities or work to individuals.
(iv) To delegate authority and fix responsibility at various levels.
(v) To co-ordinate these authority-responsibility relationships of various activities.
The character and type of organization depends upon the size and nature of the enterprise. Though there are many types of organizations but generally three types of organizations discussed earlier under sub-heading 8.2 are generally used.
In the line organization authority flows vertically form the top of the hierarchy to the bottom. Under functional organization the work is divided into different departments. Each department deals in one type of work and it specialises in one work only.
A workman has to work under many superiors who have specialization in different functions. Line and staff organization provides for specialists with line executives. It is a combination of line and functional form of organization.
Function # 3. Staffing:
The function involves recruitment in the positions created by organization process. It is related with human resources of an organization. According to Koontz and O’ Donnel, staffing is filling, and keeping filled positions in the organization structure through defining work force, requirements, appraising, selecting, compensating and training.
Thus, staffing consists of the following:
i. Manpower planning,
ii. Recruitment, selection and training of manpower;
iii. Placement of Manpower in requisite position,
iv. Development, promotion, transfer and appraisal of manpower and
v. Determination of employee remuneration and incentives.
Every manager in an organization has to perform the staffing function in one form or the other, in order to get things done through others. But it is definitely a difficult managerial function as it relates to human beings whose behaviour and actions cannot be predicted, and that is why it has become a distinct and specialised branch of management.
Function # 4. Direction:
Directing is concerned with carrying out the desired plans related with targets of the organization. It initiates organised and planned action and ensures effective performance by subordinates towards the accomplishment of group activities. Direction is called management in action.
After planning, organising and staffing, the manager has to show way and supervise his juniors. According to Massie, Directing concerns the total way in which a manager influences the actions of subordinates.” It is the final action of a manager in getting others to act after all preparations have been completed.
Directing is a continuous function and is performed at all levels of management. The main activities involved in direction may be:
A manager has to issue orders and instructions and guide plus provide professional advice to his subordinates in their work with a view to improve their performance and achieve enterprise objectives.
Leadership is ‘the process by which an manager imaginatively directs and influences the work of others in choosing and attaining specified targets by mediating between the individual and organization in such a way that both will get maximum satisfaction.
Leadership is the ability to generate confidence and zeal among workers and to create an urge in them, to be led. To be a successful leader, a manager must possess the qualities of foresightedness, drive, initiative and self-confidence. Different situations may require different types of leadership, i.e. autocratic leadership and democratic leadership.
Communication constitutes a very important function of management. It is considered as the number one problem of management, today. It is an established fact that managers spend 85 to 95 percent of their working time in communicating with others. Process of communicating is the action by which the behaviour of the subordinate is judged, modified and change is effected in their actions if required.
The word communication has been derived from the Latin word, ‘communis’ which means ‘common’ Thus communication means sharing of ideas in common.
The essence of communication is related with in receiver and the sender so as to enable them understands a particular message. It refers to the exchange to ideas, feelings, emotions and knowledge and information between two or more persons. Nothing happens in management till communication is allowed.
Communication is a two-way process as it involves both information and understanding Communication is said to be formal when it follows the formal channels provided in the organization structure, it is informal communication, when it does not follow the formal channels. Communication tows downward from a superior to his subordinates and upward from subordinates to their superiors.
Communication is essential at all levels of management for taking decisions and planning. It increases managerial capacity and facilitates control.
The term motivation is derived from the word ‘motive’ which means a requirement or emotion which encourages an individual into action. Motivation is the psychological process of creating urge among the subordinates to work or behave in the desired manner.
It is a very important function of management. The importance of motivation can be realised from the fact that performance of a worker depends upon his ability to work and the motivation created in him.
There are many strategies adopted by managers for increasing the motivation of their subordinates. Thus a manager has to provide some personal incentive to the subordinates to motivate persuade and inspire them for contributing their best effort towards the achievement of enterprise goals.
The incentives to be provided may be financial, such as increase in wages, or non-financial, like better working conditions job security, recognition, etc.
Supervision is another important element of directing function of management. After issuing instructions, the manager has to see that the given instructions are carried out. Supervision refers to ensure maximum utilisation of input resources, to get the required and directed work done and to correct the subordinates whenever they proceed wrong.
Though supervision is performed at all levels of management, the major responsibility for supervision lies with the first line of management. Sound organizational set up, effective delegation, human approach, effective communication techniques and management make supervision effective.
Function # 5. Co-Ordination:
Co-ordination is regarded as the most important functions of management. It is essential to channelize the activities of various individuals in the organization for the achievement of common objectives. It is left to the management to see that the work of different segments is going according to predetermined goals and corrective measures have to be taken if there is any deviation.
From the set targets co-ordination creates a team spirit and helps in achieving goals through collective efforts. It may be termed as the orderly arrangement of group effort to provide unity of action m the per-suit of common objectives.
Co-ordination can be classified under the two categories:
(i) Vertical and horizontal co-ordination, and
(ii) Internal and external co-ordination.
Whereas vertical co-ordination is the co-ordination between different levels of management, whereas the term horizontal co-ordination is used when co-ordination has to be achieved between departments of the same level of authority and power Co-ordination is internal when it is between different sections of the same enterprise or industrial unit and external when it is required with people or experts outside the organization to the enterprise.
Co-ordination is regarded as the very essence of management as a manager has to perform all the other functions of management, i.e., planning organising, staffing, directing and controlling.
Function # 6. Control:
Control can be considered as “determining what is being accomplished, i.e., evaluating the performance if, necessary, applying corrective measures so that the performance takes place according to planned
Control is essential for achieving objectives of an enterprise. The planning of various activities does not ensure automatic implementation of policies. Control is the process which enables management to get its policies implemented and take corrective actions if performance is against the pre-determined targets and standards.
Planning is the beginning of the management process, controlling may be considered the final stage of the technique. If planning in is looking ahead, controlling is looking back. Control is not possible without planning and planning is meaningless without control so the two are closely related with each other.
Control is a live function and executives at various levels of management continuously assess the performance of their subordinates. The main function of control is to see that the performance is able to meet the desired results. A control system, to be effective, must conform to the nature of activity report deviations if any promptly, reflect organization structure, assure corrective action and be economical.
The process of controlling involves the following steps:
(i) Establishing or setting standards of performance.
(ii) Measuring actual performance of the enterprise.
(iii) Comparing the actual performance with the standard set.
(iv) Finding deviations, if any, and
(v) Taking corrective action if required.
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