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Management functions Essay

I. Planning

Great ideas do not achieve greatness until their originator posits some plan to get there. In management science, no grand expectation or promise of future growth is likely to ever be fully realized unless its predictor develops some well-organized plan to turn figures on paper into genuine productivity. The plan is essentially a road map to success and when it is clear and well written, the this map helps travelers find their way with little or no difficulty.

Perhaps one of the most common examples of planning is in those functions, which relate to management of a sales force. Forecasting expected sales volume enables administrators to make decisions based upon the next fiscal period’s predictions. In many case studies, that I’ve reviewed, planning proved it more effective when it was more long-term. Sales forecasts that evaluate an entire year are generally considered more useful those that only seek to assess the next quarter or two. A long-term plan is generally better suited for change, if the need for such arises. When a one or two quarter plan has failed, it is often to late to change it.

Planning is the fundamental and core essence of management in that it enables leaders to become leaders. Human resource operations are performed according to the executive “master plans” set forth by key managerial personnel who alone have authorship and a full understanding of what is being done and what needs to be done. Thus, the function of planning not only helps to make predictions about the company, but it also inherently help to draw the dividing line between upper management and general human resources. The former is aware and in charge of planning operations while divisions of the latter each only play some individual role in achieving the company’s ultimate goal but are rarely made aware of every minuscule detail. Without a plan, an organization has no direction, no purpose, no mission. A plan is a company’s future and success or failure is often based upon one’s ability to achieve the tenets of the plan and to devise a new and improved plan for the next period.

II. Leading

Over the years, various theories of leadership have evolved, surfaced, and then disappeared. From top-down theories to inclusive structures and to the more empathic, human resource-focused leadership style of today’s contemporary, management, one theme has remained perennially clear: leaders must present themselves as role models within the organization for us to learn from and aspire to.

Traditionally and throughout history, leaders of all sorts have been figures or icons that other people could ‘look up to’ and respect. Therefore, when a manager is not effectively leading his or her subordinates, disorganization is likely to erupt and ripple throughout an organization. The majority of people need someone to model their actions after and to come to when they have questions. Leaders present themselves as “touchstones”, seemingly capable of resolving problems and improving operations. Entire entities revolve around the leadership styles of a few and the masses are led by the minority. Those with power, rank, and an insightful plan which facilitates the culmination their leadership ability.

When a manager can not effectively lead, she or he is disrespected and consequently, is ineffective. An effective leader must have traits and/or qualities that others will admire. Ethics are important and projecting a positive image can be done only when a leader is self-confident, self-motivated, and self-disciplined. In order for people to believe in their manager, she or he must communicate their ideas effectively and be able to empathetically handle any adverse situations that may arise. When managers have achieved truly empathetic leadership, the organization will run more efficiently.

III. Organizing

Similar in theme to planning, organizing is the function of management that ensures that every step will be met along the way. Even the best laid plans of talented managers can fall to the waste side when administrators do not know how to ensure that each task will fall into a properly-organized chain that will promote maximum productivity at minimum cost and time expenditure.

In contemporary management, several theories of organization have improved overall efficiency. Among these is time management; now an essential element in the administrator’s functionality. By budgeting and organizing one’s time, managers are more likely to be able to work out sub-plans which will enable them to accomplish a greater number of tasks over a short time span. First, by looking at everything on paper

the effective leader can see precisely how steps of their plan should be organized throughout the course of a day or other period and then go ahead and act completely with regard to the allotted time budget.

Delegation of power helps the leader to actually organize and handout, or delegate tasks, responsibility, and authority. Often, it is impossibly burdensome to expect a manager to handle all job tasks alone and so by taking the various steps outlined in the original administrative plan, and handing them out in group lets to those who are most capable of executing them properly, the manager is more likely to ultimately get his or her job done. If one group of employees is known to be better at empathetic customer relations, they might be given an important account to handle from a customer service-related perspective. If another segment is more computer-literate, they might work to accomplish technical tasks or even to cost-effectively train others within the organization. Other people might be organized as minimal “pawns” so-to-speak, serving the primary function of just doing whatever menial tasks are necessary. The organizational element of management’s plan is integral in deciding its ultimate success or lack thereof.

IV. Controlling

Control is an easy function to misunderstand or abuse. Definitively, it suggests that one person or group has power over another. No matter how we define the tasks of managers and no matter how empathetically open-minded their individual styles might be the existence of superiority and power is unavoidable. Managers are, in fact, “above” their subordinates and are intrinsically endowed with the responsibility of exercising some control over their actions and activities.

One of the many things that distinguish followers from leaders is that the latter are supposed to be more self-motivated. Administrators usually make their own decisions and are motivated to achieve greater personal goals and work for the betterment of the organization at the same time. In order to ensure that their constituents all do the same, managers must then, exercise a reasonable degree of control over them; Executive orders must be given and followed out… People must be punctual and attentive…Disciplinary actions must be enforced when workers are indulging in actions that are counterproductive to the success and productivity of the organization. It is through the element of control that these things are all possible. When a manger loses control she or he is no longer able to function as an effective leader.

As indicated earlier in this section, it is always possible for a poor manager to abuse their control over subordinates and to develop a non-empathetic tyrannical style. It is therefore important for a company’s various levels of management to have a system of checks-and-balances making it virtually impossible for any one people to attain to much power for themselves. Abuses of control will ultimately backfire though, as they tyrannical manager will usually find themselves spending more and more to hire replacements for all of the personnel that they lose.

V. Implementing

Of course, no aspect, element, or constituent of the plan will serve its purpose until it is implemented. Implementation inherently suggests that everything pre-conceived and designed is going to be acted out and accomplished. This is the culmination of the manager’s job and of their responsibility. All elements must now fall into place the plan must be well-led and organized by an effectively-controlling leader who will do everything in their power to ensure that everything goes smoothly and according to plan.

In most organizations, implementation relies upon the periodic assurance that all parts of the plan are being executed and that everything is on time and going ‘according to schedule.’ A good manager must be willing and prepared to assess the plan’s effectiveness every step of the way. One must learn to troubleshoot problems and to quickly and effectively brainstorm solutions to devise numerous alternatives for difficult situations and to keep the organization running as smoothly as possible.

Finally, implementation acts as the final transitory stage, helping to create a cycle in which planning begins once again at its conclusion. As a plan is implemented, the manager must constantly learn from the experience and begin to forecast and plan for the next period. At the climax of implementation, a new plan is set forth and everything describes in this essay begins once again with the hope that it will be better than it was the time before.

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