The Functions of Management

In essence, the function of management is to understand the goals of an organisations stakeholders and to ensure the activities of the organisation provide progress towards achieving those goals without waste of resource in the most effective and efficient manner.

A manager is someone who works with and through other people by organising and coordinating available resources and work activities in order to accomplish organisational goals.

The purpose of an organisation in general terms can be thought of as to take the input of stakeholders and to transform it into outputs that meet the needs of its stakeholders. For example, shareholders give cash input, employees give time and effort as input. The organisation transforms these things into the products or services that provide the output that clients or customers make use of.

Management is primarily concerned with the transform section of the process, making use of the input resources to achieve the outputs the organisation requires. This process can be expressed as a four stage cycle Planning, Organising, Leading and Controlling (POLC)

While traditionally thought of as a cycle, the process is flexible with a constant flow of information from one process to the others which allows a manger to adjust activities as and when required to ensure that progress towards goals is as efficient and effective as possible.

Planning

The general approach to planning begins with the creation of strategic plans for the entire organisation. To better understand the planning process, an organisation must thoroughly define its goals and objectives.

Organising

The principle of management dedicated to the structuring of resources to support the accomplishment of objectives. Organising tasks requires determining what is to be done, in what order, by whom, by which methods, and according to what timeline.

Leading

As noted earlier, leadership encourages the implementation of the planning and organising functions. It includes supervising employee behaviour, performance, attendance, and attitude. Leadership generally addresses the direction and motivation of the human resource.

Controlling

Monitoring progress toward completion, and making necessary adjustments to achieve the desired objectives, requires the exercise of control. In general, the control function serves to assure the organisation of the validity of the plan. The controlling function also determines what must be monitored as well as applies specific control tools to gather and evaluate information.

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