The Four Functions of Management: Explanation

Categories: ManagementPsychology


The four functions of management, planning, organizing, leading, and controlling, are very essential in building strong organizations and even stronger more effective teams. Planning, organizing, leading, and controlling are the functions of management. These function activities must be performed by all managers regardless of their industry level, title, or the task they have at hand. These four management skill are used whenever a project or a task is at hand. Even in the field we are working in, many of us may have been using the four management functions and not noticed what they were, or we may have been a part of a team that was lead by the functions of management and not noticed what was going on.

The Four Functions of Management: Planning, Organizing, Leading, and Controlling

There are certain functions of management that all businesses and organizations must adhere to. Without a strict set of disciplines, any business or organization will fail. There will be udder chaos within the organization.

This is the reason that the four functions of management were set in place. A good manager must implement, practice apply these management techniques in order to insure the survival of the organization within which they are employed. The four functions of management include: planning, leading, organizing, and leading. In the following few pages I will be briefly explaining the functions of management and will also include an example of how these functions are implemented into the organization(s) of which I am employed (West Modesto/King Kennedy Neighborhood Collaborative and Stanislaus Multi-Cultural Health Coalition).

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The first aspect of management is planning. Planning is the base of which all the other management functions are structured. In the planning phase, a company looks into where the company is at the present time and where it would like to be in the future. In the planning process, managers are required to set goals and determine what it would take for that manager’s organization to achieve that goal.

The WMKKNC (West Modesto/King Kennedy Neighborhood Collaborative) and SMHC (Stanislaus Multi-Cultural Health Coalition) have numerous meetings along with administrators and directors of other community advocacy groups to decide what should be done to help the community. During the meetings, the group evaluates the needs of the community, and then decides what should be done to further help the community, and what steps it should take meet the goal. The Collaborative must also decide if in fact the plan that the group has decided on will in fact benefit the community. The other factor that these meetings address is the external and internal factors that may influence whether the plan will be a success or failure.


Organization is the second function of management. According to Bateman-Snell (Management: Leading and Collaborating in a Competitive World, 2007), organizing is assembling and coordinating the human, financial, physical, informational, and other resources needed to achieve goals. Although organization is not the basis for which the four functions of management are based, this is a key function of management. Effective managers organize the company by identifying jobs to be done, hiring people to do them, defining departments, and delegating authority. Without organization, any business or company will diminish; the structure of the company will fall into chaos.

The organization that I am employed with is a matrix organization. This organization has more than one “boss” or authority figure. I am both an employee of West Modesto/King Kennedy Neighborhood Collaborative but also of the Stanislaus Multi-Cultural Health Coalition. This has certain advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantage to working in this type of organization is that the way that the organization is set up is often confusing to the employees. The employees are not sure who they should be reporting to; who is eventually responsible for them. The advantage of this system is that employees learn the collaborative skills needed to function in an environment characterized by frequent meetings and more informal interactions (Management: Leading and Collaborating in a Competitive World, 2007).


Leading is the function of management that deals with motivating and communicating with employees; stimulating employees. Employees that are motivated usually have a tendency to go above and beyond their job function. For this reason, managers come up with job incentives and rewards to motivate their employees to come up with ideas or increase their individual production.

The supervisor at the organization(s) that I work for does a great job at rewarding employees. She provides valuable training skills so each employee is knowledgeable of their job function. The supervisors (or in some case supervisors) have rewards at each staff meeting such as a raffle. She sets aside time for each employee to let them know what the strengths of the employee are and how these strengths further the growth of the organization. She does, however, also mention the weakness of the employee; this is done not to weaken the employee’s moral but to advise them of their problem areas so that the employee can work on that weakness.


Controlling is the last function of management and is quite possibly the most important. Through controlling, an effective manager monitors the performance of the employees within an organization and implements necessary changes if there are changes needed to guarantee the success of the organization. An effective manager will not lower standards to address the problem but will deal with the problem as it is addresses in order to solve the problem before it becomes an even bigger issue.

The supervisor (s) for WMKKNC and SMHC are very efficient in the controlling aspect of management. If they notice there is an issue, they will address immediately in order insure there will not be problems within the organization. Currently there is a situation within my organization where several of the employees that were hired to charter a new pilot program and were unhappy with their job. The management quickly addressed this issue during a staff meeting and informed employees that they were fully aware of this problem and if any employee felt that they would not be able to do the basic functions of the job for which they were hired or were simply not happy with their position, they should let the management know so that a they may come up with a resolution to the problem.

_Pehong Chen, chairman, president and CEO, Broadvision Inc.:_ “That’s what is so awesome about the new economy. You have the ability to do something with your work and to know that made a difference. You. Not your system. Not your company’s policies. You.” (Bateman-Snell, 2007) This statement is as accurate as can be in today’s workplace. Whether a person is management or just a regular employee within an organization, every last person makes a difference. An effective manager will always remember that as they apply the four basic functions of management as they strive to create and implement a dynamic work force.


Bateman-Snell (2007). _Management: Leading and Collaborating in a Competitive

McGraw-Hill Publishing

Sanjay Rane, (September 12, 2007). _The Four Functions of Management for All Management Concepts_

Retrieved on February 1, 2008 from

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The Four Functions of Management: Explanation. (2016, Jul 30). Retrieved from

The Four Functions of Management: Explanation
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