Key Management Functions

Management is defined as a social process which involves responsibility for economical and efficient planning & regulation of operations of an organization for the fulfillment of given objectives. Management has developed into a robust and innovative force on which our modern society is dependent for material support and national well-being. The process of management involves certain key management functions. The functions of management are listed below:

Four Functions of Management

Planning: It is a basic function of management. Planning is the first important activity of the 4 functions in the management process. Planning is the base on which the other three activities should be build. As stated by KOONTZ, “Planning is deciding in advance – what to do, when to do and how to do. Planning is the vital link between the present and the future which raises the probability of accomplishing desired results. It is the logical thinking through goals and deciding as to what must be done so as to attain the organizations objectives. Planning allows the management to avoid the trap of working really hard but attaining very little. Planning is essential to guarantee proper utilization of organizational resources. All managers at every level of the organization participate in planning. Despite the fact that plans may differ in focus, they are all concerned with accomplishing organizational objectives in short and long term.

Organizing: Getting organized is the next key function of management. To be able to attain the objectives defined in the planning process, structuring the work within an organization is a crucial. As stated by Henry Fayol, “To organize an organization is to give it everything useful for its functioning i.e. raw material, tools, capital and manpower”. A well-organized organization usually has enthusiastic managers and staff members who are dedicated to seeing the business succeed. Resources are assigned efficiently and utilized in a proper way in a well-organized business.

To make sure that goals set by planning function can be accomplished, the organizing function takes the tasks determined during planning and assigns them to individuals and teams within the organization. Furthermore, the organizing function provides an organizational structure which makes it possible for the organization to function effectively.

Leading: Leading is the management process which includes almost everything else a manager does. Organizational success is dependent upon the caliber of leadership that is shown. Managing and leading are not similar activities. Employees view a leader as a person who inspires them and guides them to help meet the organizations objectives. A leader can be a manager, however a manager is not always a leader. Often, a leader will have a vision of change which other people struggle to accept. Leaders should be capable of influencing / motivating employees and direct them to the duties or responsibilities allocated in the planning process. Staff members who are highly motivated usually go above and beyond in their job performance, thus performing an important role in the organization accomplishing its objectives. This is why, leaders usually put a great deal of focus on motivating the employees.

Controlling: Controlling is the last function of management. It calls for monitoring the organization performance to ensure objectives are being met. In other words, the process which guarantees plans are being executed correctly is the controlling process. All managers have controlling responsibilities, for example carrying out performance evaluations and taking required action to reduce inefficiencies. The control process is ongoing. By means of controlling, management can determine any potential issues, go ahead and take necessary precautionary steps. Controlling includes following elements
1. Setting up standards of performance.
2. Measuring individual and organizational performance.
3. Comparing actual performance with planned performance.
4. Action to correct performance which does not meet the standards.

A manager performs a number of tasks. Planning, organizing, leading and controlling are four key management functions that must be considered in any management position.

Watch a video: Four Functions of Management: Planning, Organizing, Leading & Controlling

Key Management Functions