Management Principles Essay, Research Paper
“Planning, organising, leading and controlling are asserted to be the four crucial functions of a manager. Explain each of these functions emphasising the underlying theories. In particular, how these functions are interrelated in the global business environment today.”
A manager’s role is to lead his/her organisation to a clearly stated objective. In doing so he/she must muster all his resources in a concise and organised attempt at achieving those goals. To do this a manager must lead, plan, organise and control the organisation’s employees.
A manager can be defined in many ways. From the high ranking Chief Executive Officer or the Team leader who is fundamental to the organisation. Each manager therefore has different roles throughout these stages. The team leader ‘manager’ has a more hands on role in the running of the company compared to the CEO, who as well as concentrating on the day to day running of the company must also asses the future layout of the organisation(Dauphinais et al., 1998, p.18)
The four ‘functions’ of a manager as stated in the assignment are crucial to the prolonged success of any company. I believe ‘leading’ is perhaps the most crucial tool of any manager since his/her presence and motivation ability is critical to the achievement of the goals stated in the planning stage.
The ‘global business environment of today’ is a reference to the ever expanding global marketplace, and how it has opened up thousands of markets for companies, as well as exposing it to many more competitors and pitfalls.
Planning is a vital tool to any manager since it allows him to help prepare for the future, rather than being commanded by it (Allen, 1973, p.64). A comprehensive plan both helps coordinate the actions of all team members, while also serving as a basis for control and feedback. By using a systematic approach to planning, a manager can ascertain the capabilities of his employees and utilize resources to accomplish the most desired outcome(Geneen, 1985, p.84).
Allen (1973, pg.64) states that there are seven major steps in planning, and although his work is dated both Robbins and Crainer, in more recent analysis of management agree with him in a majority of cases;
+ A goal which the company is committed to obtaining
+ To estimate or predict what will probably happen in the future
+ Defining the steps necessary in order to reach the objectives
+ The allocation of resources required to achieve the companies objectives
+ The mehtod or manner with which the programme is to be realised through the allocation of tasks and objectives
Using a systematic approach to planning allows a manager to ascertain the capabilities of his work force and utilize resources in order to accomplish the desired result(Allen, 1973, p.63). Planning is a crucial role of managers since it allows it to evaluate the path ahead and make arrangements to sidestep any problems which may arise. In the new global business environment of today it is most imperative that a company plans out its path before walking down it. Due to the increase in technology that has enabled a company to market overseas, the amount of competitors and hazards which await a company have increased dramatically therefore the importance of planning has become even more crucial.
The structure defined in the planning stage enables managers to devise a “framework by which job tasks are divided, grouped and coordinated” (Robbins, 2001, p.351). However the concept of ‘organising; is different for every managerial level. When referring to a CEO, ‘organising’ can be seen as a wide ranging plan for the future which includes such aspects as(Robbins, 2001:p.352);
u The more specialised the work assigned to individuals within limits, the greater the potential for efficient performance.
q Logical Arrangement
u Logically arranged work tends to produce the greatest accomplishment and highest personal satisfaction.
q Chain of Command
u The chain of command is a logical progression through the ranks of an organisation
q Maximum Span
u Refers to the number of people a manager supervises
q Minimum Levels
u The amount of management ranks in an organisation
However in the context of a team leader, the function of ‘organising’ is more concerned with assigning individuals with tasks or responsibilities which combine together to form one goal. After discovering the strengths/weakness’ and defining the overall plan, the team leader must organise his resources to achieve those objectives set out previously. This aspect of organising is intertwined immensely with leading and planning since both are vital to the success of organising the group. The team leader must be able to motivate the members to apply themselves to the tasks or responsibilities allocated to him/her during the planning stage.
Leading subordinates is a vital part of a managers job. In his book Leadership is an Art, Max DePree (1989, pg.12), a CEO placed sixth in Fortune magazines management excellence awards, writes leaders must provide momentum so that the workers feel “their lives and work are intertwined and moving towards a recognizable goal”. The planning and organising stage is vital to the momentum a company can build upon, since momentum comes from a clear vision of what the corporation ought to be, from well thought out strategies and carefully conceived plans which enable everyone to participate and be publicly accountable in achieving those plans.
Collins, a business analyst, in his book ‘Built to Last; (1994,: p.282) defined leadership as “CEO’s who displayed high levels of persistence, overcame obstacles, attracted dedicated people, and are able to guide companies though crucial episodes”.
Robbins agrees with DePree saying goal seeking is a major source of motivation, once again showing all four stages of the management process are intertwined. Robbins suggests that ‘team orientated’ work places are more productive, and that leaders should be seen more as motivators controlling the workers and emphasising the importance of achieving the goals set out in the planning stage.
Throughout history major studies conducted by Frederick Taylor and Elton Mayo in the Hawthorne Experiments agreed that employees responded better to motivation and confidence rather than authoritarian rule (Allen, 1973:p.158). Taylor in his book The Principles of Scientific Management (1942, pg.5) wrote “motivating is the work a manager performs to inspire, encourage and impel people to take the required action to achieve their objective”. However all this is coupled with a strong plan and organized workforce.
According to both Robbins and Allen ‘management controlling’ is the work a manager does to assess and regulate work in progress and assess results already secured. Therefore it is imperative that a manager is able to collect, analyse and use the information supplied to him to make conclusions give feedback to those who are involved. Control is vital in order to ensure the objectives set out previously are achieved.
William G. Ouchi in Management Science (1979, pg833-858) suggested there are three different types of control systems; Market, Bureaucratic and Clan. All of which rely on the premise that a control system is there to provide information and feedback on the performance of the company and team members.
Robbins defines the control process as being a three step process; measuring, comparing and managerial action (2001, pg686) while Allen believes there four; developing standards, measuring performance, evaluating and correcting. (1979, pg 210) The only difference being that Robbins assumes the development of standards had already been completed in the planning stage.
Control is perhaps the most vital stage of the management process because it relies heavily upon all other facets. It allows the managers to see whereabouts in the process the company has gone wrong and for what reason. If the plan was not correct, or if it wasn’t organised enough or if the subordinates were not motivated enough to complete their tasks in the timeframe allocated. All of these problems would arise in the controlling segment of management process.
A manager’s role in the development of an organisation and achieving the goals set in its mission statement cannot be defined to four key functions. Yet these four functions discussed; planning, leading, organising and controlling are imperative to the success of any company. From the smallest family run company to the biggest multinational corporations plans must be made, people motivated and organised and given feedback on their progress, that is what makes these four functions crucial in the running of any organisation.
As shown all four factors are inter-related in some manner. Planning allows the controlling stage to be performed while also allowing leaders to allocate tasks to team members which are organised to form one cohesive effort. Organising is the allocation of resources necessary to achieve this goals. However how would a team be organised if their was no objective? How would a team operate if their was no motivation? And how would the team perform is they weren’t given feedback on their performance?
The global business environment has multiplied the threats and competition a company faces tenfold. With the technology available these days competitors are no longer separated by borders or geography, therefore the markets and consumers offered have also increased. However with this increase in potential profit, the amount of competitors and threats have also increased, and therefore these four functions have assumed even greater importance in the ongoing survival and success of the organisation.Bibliography
Allen, L., (1973) Professional Management. London : McGraw Hill
Collins, J.C, and Porras J.I, (1994) Built to Last New York: Harper Collins
Crainer, S., (2000) The Management Century New York: John Wiley & Sons
Dauphinias, G.W, Price, C., (1998) Straight from the CEO. New York: Simon &
Drucker, P.F, (1980) Managing in Turbulent Times London: Heinemenn
Geneen, H., and Moscow, A. (1984) Managing . London: Granada
Levinson, H., and Rosenthal, S., (1984) CEO: Corporate Leadership in Action New York: Basic Books
Robbins, S.P, Bergman, R., Stagg, I., Coulter, M., (2000) Management NSW: Prentice Hall
Wheatley, M.J, (1992) Leadership and the New Science San Francisco: Berret-Koehler