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Four Functions of Management

Four Functions of Management

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Published by Sadkatul Bari

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Published by: Sadkatul Bari on Jul 21, 2012
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01/02/2013

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Four Functions of ManagementThe four functions of management comprise of the primary functions of managers, which must be performed efficiently for the success of anorganization. These functions are common across all fields of management, be it at a factory, a super market, a restaurant or even at home. For thesmooth functioning of any organization, the functions are planning,organizing, leading and controlling. These functions are referred to as themanagement process. 
Planning
Planning is the first and base component of management. It involves recognizing the organization’s goals and developing strategies to achieve these goals. This is called strategy planning. Thesestrategies may have to be altered or completely changed constantly based on the macro and microfactors affecting anorganization. Thus planning is a constant process. Even though all planninginvolves the same kind of thought process, different types of plans are made for different functionsof an organization. Examples of planning are strategic planning, marketing planning, business planning, succession planning, project planning, sales planning, etc.
Organizing
Organizing is an important responsibility of a manager. Unless a manager manages in an organizedmanner, no work will get done. A manager’s organizational responsibilities include organizing theresources of anorganization, identifying different roles, choosing the right people for these roles,delegating tasks to people, etc. He also has to ensure that the employees have the required resourcesto perform their tasks better. Inefficientorganizationcan lead to chaos in the company.
Leading
Even though many use the term managing and leading synonymously, nothing could be farther from the truth. Simply managing tasks means making people do their jobs. But leading meansinfluencing and inspiring people in such a way that they feel motivated to do their jobs. People findit easier to follow a leader. Following the orders of a manager is something that is done as a part of one’s job, but following a leader is something that is done more willingly by people. Thus, everymanager must aim at becoming a good leader. A leader focuses on interpersonal relations with eachemployee and constantly motivates them to perform better. By creating a positive workingenvironment a leader can effectively help improve the employees’ job performance and hence their morale.
Controlling
Controlling as the name suggests means controlling the various functions in the organization to ensure they are on track with the goals that were set at the beginning of the planning process.
 
Controlling also involves setting certain performance standards for the employees and constantlyevaluating their job performance. Sometimes the strategies and plans that were developed andimplemented may not work out as initially planned due to certain external factors. Controlling andevaluating helps a manager recognize these failures and quickly implement corrective measures to bring the task back on track. It involves evaluating the expected and actual job performance. This helps a manager recognize potential problems and take preventive measures against the consequences. These four functions of management are very important for anorganizationand if done well can bethe reason behind the success of the business.
Main Functions of Management
There are four main functions of management.1. Planning.2. Organizing.3. Leading.4. Controlling.
Planning.
Planning is an important managerial function. It provides the design of a desired future state andthe means of bringing about that future state to accomplish the organization's objectives. In other words, planning is the process of thinking before doing. To solve the problems and take theadvantages of the opportunities created by rapid change, managers must develop formal long- andshort-range plans so that organizations can move toward their objectives.It is the foundation area of management. It is the base upon which the all the areas of managementshould be built. Planning requires administration to assess; where the company is presently set, andwhere it would be in the upcoming. From there an appropriate course of action is determined andimplemented to attain the company's goals and objectivesPlanning is unending course of action. There may be sudden strategies where companies have toface. Sometimes they are uncontrollable. You can say that they are external factors that constantlyaffect a company both optimistically and pessimistically. Depending on the conditions, a companymay have to alter its course of action in accomplishing certain goals. This kind of preparation,arrangement is known as strategic planning. In strategic planning, management analyzes inside and
 
outside factors that may affect the company and so objectives and goals. Here they should have astudy of strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats. For management to do thisefficiently, it has to be very practical and ample.Characteristics of planning.Ø Goal oriented.Ø Primacy.Ø Pervasive.Ø Flexible.Ø Continuous.Ø Involves choice.Ø Futuristic.Ø Mental exercise.Ø Planning premises.Importance of planning.* Make objectives clear and specific.* Make activities meaningful.* Reduce the risk of uncertainty.* Facilitators coordination.* Facilitators decision making.* Promotes creativity.* Provides basis of control.* Leads to economy and efficiency.* Improves adoptive behavior.* Facilitates integration.Formal and informal planning.Formal planning usually forces managers to consider all the important factors and focus upon bothshort- and long-range consequences. Formal planning is a systematic planning process duringwhich plans are coordinated throughout the organization and are usually recorded in writing. Thereare some advantages informal planning. First, formalized planning forces managers to plan because they are required to do so by their superior or by organizational rules. Second, managersare forced to examine all areas of the organization. Third, the formalization it self provides a set of common assumptions on which all managers can base their plans.Planning that is unsystematic, lacks coordination, and involves only parts of the organizationscalled informal planning. It has three dangerous deficiencies. First, it may not account for all theimportant factors. Second, it frequency focuses only on short range consequences. Third, withoutcoordination, plans in different parts of the organization may conflict.Stages in planning.

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