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The Four Management Functions Management Assignment (Essay Sample)


Discussing the four management processes of planning, organizing, leading and controlling

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Management refers to attaining organizational objectives by working with and through people alongside other organizational resources. It is a continuous process or series of four related activities that involve and concentrate on realizing an organization’s goals. The four activities in the management process are planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. All these four activities are related since each of them happens after the previous activity has already taken place or is still in progress. Planning is the first activity in the management process that involves the preparation of a sequence of action steps for the attainment of a particular goal. Planning is short term and emphasizes on formulating functional plans such as daily operation plans in the organization. Thus, future requirements and circumstances are foreseen through planning. Planning encompasses the definition of goals, establishing strategies to attain goals and developing plans to integrate and coordinate organizational tasks. The planning process reveals a planning hierarchy in the organization whereby the objectives of top management become targets that lower management must follow. The planning function assists in knowing the organization’s progress to make right decisions on how to proceed or what to needs to be done next. Organizing, as the second activity in the management process, is a goal-oriented task that aims to achieve effectiveness and efficiency. Organization depends on specialization where tasks are assigned to various specialist departments. Organizing involves the arrangement of several elements into a structure that follows one or more rules that guide the conduct of employees. In this activity, the focus is laid on the allocation and arrangement of human or non-human resources. Thus, organizing is the most vital activity employed to attain organizational goals because the tasks to be achieved are determined, and resources are properly utilized. The third activity that comprises the management process is leading; influencing others to practice work behavior that would result in the attainment of organizational goals. An effective leader provides direction and the type of leadership that motivates employees to accomplish vital tasks within a given time frame. A manager must set effective policies and formulate proper strategies that improve the overall performance of the organization. Traits Theory is one theory in the function of leading that focuses on personal characteristics and qualities. Honesty and integrity, self-confidence, full of ambition, flexibility and motivation are some of the requisite traits for leadership success. Fiedler’s Contingency Theory is another leadership theory that holds states that an organization must examine the work environment and employ a manager with a suitable style for such a situation. A manager must possess skills of motivation since it is the life-blood of an organization. As stated by Huitt (2004), a manager that fails to exchange greetings with employees causes a high degree of disloyalty and de-motivation. The fourth activity in the management process is controlling; monitoring organizational performance to ascertain the achievement of goals. Accomplishments are measured against set standards, and corrections of deviation are effected to ensure organizational goals are achieved. The controlling function ensures that everything runs in tandem with set rules. Effective control helps to show variations before they occur. Controlling comprises a five-step process. In the first step, the major areas of control are determined basing on the organization’s mission, objectives and goals developed during the planning phase. In the second step, performance standards and goals are established. The third step involves accurate performance measurement to spot variances or deviations between actual occurrences and desired outcomes. In the fourth step, the actual performance is compared to set standards and decisions made in case of any deviations. The final step involves ...
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