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4 Functions Of Management

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There are four functions that a manager must be able to do in order to run a successful company; planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Each of these elements is equally important. If even one of these elements is looked over the management process is incomplete and a mangers effectiveness and efficiency will diminish. The business world of today is drastically different than that of years before, most importantly because of the advancements of technology. Even though the daily tasks that a manager will perform today are different than the tasks a manager in the 1950's would perform, the foundation is still the same. In the same way an owner of a small business will have the same fundamentals as a manager for a large corporation.

Managers must be able to plan; otherwise they are not able to understand what they are working towards. Planning and thinking should be done at all levels of a business. A manager should communicate the plans that they have decided upon so that they have the opportunity to get input from other members of the organization. This will give a manager a complete view of their goals and will have received the constructive criticism that may be helpful. Planning is the "management function of systematically making decisions about the goals and activities that an individual, a group, a work unit, or the overall organization will pursue in the future" (Schermerhorn, 2003, p. 15).

My company is a very small one, consisting of 10 people. Each of the employees is continually thinking about where the company is going and how we plan to get there. We have weekly meetings where we discuss these goals. The CEO and the operations manager bring up their own ideas each week and as a group we pick these ideas apart till we have created a plan of action that the whole group agrees upon. We then take this plan and decide how this will apply to the daily activities of the company.

Organizing is an important aspect of successful management because without organization things can be forgotten or neglected. If a manager is organized there should not be any issues with people or information that is needed. A good organizer will be able to adjust when changes occur because they have everything in place and have prepared everything to allow for flexibility.

Organization is "the management function of assembling and coordinating human, financial, physical, informational, and other resources needed to achieve goals" (Schermerhorn, 2003, p. 15). My current company, being small, does not quite have one person designated to do the organization. At our weekly meetings we decide as a group how tasks are dispersed. There is probably a handbook somewhere that states who is responsible for the organizing, but typically we all just take the tasks that we can. I feel that this is an ineffective way to run our business because there have been several times where important deadlines were missed because no one knew who was supposed to be working on a project. There are no hard lines at our company as to who does what, so it is never clear who is responsible for what.

Leading is "the management function that involves the manager's efforts to stimulate high performance by employees (Schermerhorn, 2003, p. 15). This may not be the most important role of a manager, but it will help a manager get his/her employees to do their best, and have the desire to make the company better. Motivation is something that has to be done right. There are times when a manager might have the best intentions, but will come off to the employee as condescending. There are also the managers who do not have any motivational skills and can demoralize his/her employees. This can make employees work against the common goal instead

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