What are the Functions of Management?
Management is an exercise to realize the planned goals and objectives of a corporation by managing all the devices of the organization. Management functions include all the managerial exercises from setting objectives to taking essential steps to make sure defined organizational objectives could be achieved.
It involves making plans and deciding how to achieve them, as well as overseeing and controlling all aspects of the organization to ensure that goals are met effectively and efficiently. These management functions are like a roadmap that helps create a positive and productive work environment for achieving objectives smoothly.
The functions of management, also known as the management process, are vital for establishing a positive and harmonious work environment that facilitates the achievement of objectives effortlessly and seamlessly.
There is an ongoing debate about which set of management functions is most applicable universally, as various management scholars have presented different perspectives on the functions of management. Let’s look at some of them.
- Henri Fayol – Planning, Organizing, Commanding, Coordinating, and Controlling (POCCC).
- Luther Gulick – Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Directing, Coordinating, Reporting, and Budgeting (POSDCORB). Which is also referred to as the 7 functions of management.
- Kast and Rosenzweig – Goal Setting, Planning, Assembling Resources, Organizing, Implementing, and Controlling (GPAOIC).
- Koontz and O’Donnel – Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Directing, and Controlling.
Among the functions of management proposed by different experts, the functions presented by Koontz and O’Donnell are widely accepted and commonly applied in today’s modern era. These functions are considered suitable and necessary for all types of organizations.
As a manager, it is crucial to have a thorough understanding of how these functions operate. When assuming a managerial role, it is essential to be mindful of effectively utilizing these functions in your organization for success.
The 5 Functions of Management
Now that we have grasped the importance of management functions, let’s explore how these functions play crucial roles in the management process to achieve organizational goals.
These functions are interconnected and rely on each other for optimal performance. The effectiveness of one function directly impacts the performance of the next function. It is the collective effectiveness of these processes that determines whether the desired goals will be successfully accomplished or not.
Planning is deciding beforehand what’s to be done and an intellectual course of action to be taken to realize predetermined goals in time.
Planning can be said the primary function of the functions of management. It involves selecting the objectives, policies, procedures, and programs to realize the specified result. it’s a mental exercise and requires intelligence, skill, imagination, and vision.
Planning gives solutions to varied problems which can arise within the course of functioning. It minimizes function uncertainties and risks. It saves, time, cost, and effort for the organizations. Planning functions include:
- Setting the organization’s objectives
- Calculating the circumstances
- Forming policies and procedures
- Developing work calendar and estimates
The planning function of management is all about making an effective plan that ensures the achievement of desired goals of the organization. Steps in the planning process include.
- Analyze Opportunities
- Set Goals or Objectives
- Determine Premises
- Identify Alternatives
- Evaluate Alternatives
- Select The Best Course of Action (Best Alternative)
- Formulate Supportive Plans
- Implement The Plan
- Review The Whole Planning Process
Also Checkout the Full Guide On: 9 Main Steps of the Planning Process in Management
Another essential function of management is organizing. Organizing is the process of identification of major activities, grouping them into units, assignment of labor to staff, and delegating authority.
Organizing care with developing the structure and framework and arranging required resources to perform required activities. Resources include human, finance, physical, and knowledge. It defines the authority relationship among the organizational members. Thus, organizing is the root or base of an enterprise.
According to Henry Fayol, “To organize a business is to provide it with everything useful or its functioning i.e. raw material, tools, capital, and personnel”.
It’s the framework where all the mechanisms involved in achieving common objectives are clarified. The main activity of organizing management functions includes:
- Recognizing main activities
- Arranging them within managerial units
- Distributing jobs to various departments and workers
- Authorizing necessary authority to accomplish given duty
The process of organizing includes 4 main steps. They are:
- Step 1: Division of Work
- Step 2: Grouping of Work
- Step 3: Delegation of Authority
- Step 4: Coordination of Work
Also Read: The 4 Important Steps in Organizing Process
Staffing is the process of determination of manpower and recruitment, selection, appointment, and placement of the proper employee for the proper job.
The primary objective of staffing is to ensure that the right individuals are assigned to the appropriate positions, matching square pegs with square holes and round pegs with round holes.
Staffing may be a lifeblood of an enterprise that mobilizes all the opposite resources for the achievement of common goals. It also involves determining the dimensions of manpower at different levels. Staffing is the continuous process up to the existence of a corporation. Staffing includes:
- Planning the total manpower necessity
- Recruitment, selection, and appointment of the appropriate person to the appropriate position
- Arranging seminars, workshops, and training to improve workers’ ability
- Performance evaluation, promotion, and transfer
- Remunerating employees on their skill and ability
According to Kootz & O’Donnell – “Managerial function of staffing involves manning the organization structure through the proper and effective selection, appraisal & development of personnel to fill the roles designed in the structure”.
The staffing function of management holds even greater significance due to the fact that people possess varying levels of intelligence, knowledge, skills, experience, physical abilities, age, and attitudes. These differences make the staffing function more complex.
Therefore, management needs to have a comprehensive understanding not only of the technical and operational capabilities but also of the social and psychological makeup of the workforce.
The process of Staffing includes the followings steps:
- Step 1: Manpower Planning (HR Planning)
- Step 2: Recruitment
- Step 3: Selection
- Step 4: Placement
- Step 5: Orientation
- Step 6: Training and Development
- Step 7: Performance Appraisal
- Step 8: Transfer, Promotion, and Demotion
Learn More: The 8 Important Steps of the Staffing Process
The direction may be a complex function that has all those activities that are designed to encourage a subordinate to figure efficiently and effectively. It’s concerned with instructing, guiding, and provoking subordinates to realize organizational objectives.
Directing is often regarded as the life force of an organization as it ignites and energizes the actions of individuals. Planning, organizing, and staffing lay the groundwork for work to be done but directing brings it to life.
Direction focuses on the interpersonal aspect of management and involves influencing, guiding, supervising, and motivating subordinates to accomplish organizational goals. It is the driving force that propels the organization forward.
The direction functions of management components include supervision, motivation, leadership, communication, and coordination.
It refers to direct and immediate guidance to the subordinates to make sure the performance of assigned work. The motive of supervision is to make sure optimum utilization of human and physical resources so as achieve defined objectives. For this, a supervisor has got to guide subordinates in order that the latter can perform their work effectively. It’s a continual process till the existence of a corporation.
Motivation may be a psychological and human aspect. It’s the method of stimulating subordinate behaviors to achieve predetermined goals. It supported needs and human behavior. As social workers want to satisfy their basic and social needs. They could be motivated by both financial and non-financial incentives.
Leadership is the art of influencing the behavior and performance of subordinates. It’s the power to influence others to figure willingly to realize the specified goals. An individual is claimed to be a kingpin when he’s ready to influence others and they accept his guidance, suggestions, and directions. A manager is claimed to be a kingpin of the organization when he or she is successfully ready to influence the attitude and behaviors of the subordinates.
Communication is the process of transmitting ideas and knowledge from one person to a different. it’s an exchange of facts, ideas, and opinions between two or more persons. Communication is claimed to be effective when the message is obvious. An efficient communication system among all the mechanisms of the organization is important for successful operation. There must be an efficient communication system for direct and clear follow of data on various management levels.
Coordination is the process of integrating all the units and departments of a corporation. it’s the method of the orderly arrangement of group efforts to supply unity of action for the attainment of common goals. Different departments and other people perform different functions in a corporation.
But the activities of various departments are interrelated to every other. Thus, coordination among all the departments is important to bring uniformity in action to realize organizational goals.
Of the 5 functions of management process controlling is the last. Controlling is the process of comparing actual performance achieved thereupon with planned performance and taking corrective action if any deviation is there during an actual performance in order that defined goals are often achieved in a defined time.
Also Read: 3 Types of Control
Controlling is the main instrument with which uniformity in action is maintained. Taking corrective action is important if actual performance isn’t in accordance with the planned performance.
The management executes an idea through control to make sure the achievement of predetermined goals. Therefore, it’s essential to possess an honest controlling system for achieving results consistent with the plan. Controlling functions of management include:
- Setting standards
- Measurement of performance
- Identifying deviation in actual and planned performance
- Examining the cause of the variation
- Taking remedial action to obtain planned goals
The process of controlling includes 5 main steps:
- Establishment of Standard
- Measurement of Actual Performance
- Comparison of Actual Performance
- Analyze the Cause of the Deviation
- Taking Remedial or Corrective Action
Know more about the 5 steps of controlling the function of management.
Difference Between Functions of Management and Process of Management
Are the management functions and management process the same?
It often makes us confuse that whether the management functions and management process are different from each other or not. To conclude, they are the same thing, there is no difference between them.
Management is an ongoing and organized approach to achieving desired outcomes. It involves a systematic series of actions or activities aimed at producing specific results. The functions of management, such as planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling, form the core of this management process.
These functions are interconnected and performed in a sequential manner, forming a cohesive process. Planning sets the goals and determines the course of action, organizing structures resources, staffing ensures the right people are in place, directing guides and motivates employees, and controlling monitors progress and makes necessary adjustments.
The functions of management are essentially the building blocks of the management process. They work together to create a framework for effective and efficient achievement of objectives. This demonstrates the inherent connection between the functions of management and the overall management process.