Functions of Management

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SAINt-Petersburg STATE Polytechnical University


Faculty of Economics and Management

Department of Economics and Management of Machine Production Enterprise






Course Paper



Functions of Management















St. Petersburg 2009



Research and analysis of functions of management is urgent problem indeed. Management combines characteristics of science and art. In the first place management means direction of people, therefore it is impossible to formalize it. But we can mark out some functions of management. So accurate compliance with management functions allows your organization with the best profit and efficiency. In this work you can find description of each management function and some advices to improve them.

The present paper is devoted to the problems of management. This work is aimed at analysis of four functions of management. The following tasks are to be solved in this paper:

  1. to decide how much functions management has;
  2. to review all functions of management;
  3. to discuss the main ways of improving functions of management;

The books and articles of the following authors constitute the theoretical basis for this work: Bernard L. Erven, Henri Fayol, James Higgins, Jayashree Pakhare and others. They discussed different theoretical and practical problems of the matter of this course paper.

In this paper, I attempt to clarify the interdependence of management functions. To do so, I first present all functions then described each one in details.

The structure of this course paper is as follows. The first part reviews all management functions. Part 25 dwells on each function of management. The final part summarizes the whole work.



Functions of Management


To decide the first task how much functions management has I compared some viewpoints of scientists. As Jayashree Pakhare consider, management has only four functions: planning, organizing, directing and controlling. At the same time according to Bernard L. Erven and Henri Fayol, management has five functions: four previous plus staffing. I think that staffing is not as much important as other functions and is contained in organizing therefore in what follows I analyzed only four functions.

Any organization, whether new or old, whether small or big need to run smoothly and achieve the goals and objectives which it has set forth. For this they had developed and implemented their own management concepts. There are basically four management concepts that allow any organization to handle the tactical, planned and set decisions. The four basic functions of the management are just to have a controlled plan over the preventive measure. [4]

The four functions of management are: planning, organizing, directing, controlling.

Planning is the foundation area of management. It is the base upon which all the areas of management should be built. Planning requires administration to assess, where the company is presently set, and where it would be in the upcoming. From there an appropriate course of action is determined and implemented to attain the companys goals and objectives.

Planning is unending course of action. There may be sudden strategies where companies have to face. Sometimes they are uncontrollable. You can say that they are external factors that constantly affect a company both optimistically and pessimistically. Depending on the conditions, a company may 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 a study of strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats. For management to do this efficiently, it has to be very practical and ample.

The second function of the management is getting prepared, getting organized. Management must organize all its resources well before in hand to put into practice the course of action to decide that has been planned in the base function. Through this process, management will now determine the inside directorial configuration; establish and maintain relationships, and also assign required resources.

While determining the inside directorial configuration, management ought to look at the different divisions or departments. They also should think about harmonization of staff, and try to find out the best way to handle the important tasks and expenditure of information within the company. Management determines the division of work according to its need. It also has to decide for suitable departments to hand over authority and responsibilities.

Directing is the third function of the management. Working under this function helps the management to control and supervise the actions of the staff. This helps them to assist the staff in achieving the companys goals and also accomplishing their personal or career goals which can be powered by motivation, communication, department dynamics, and department leadership.

Employees those are highly provoked generally surpass in their job performance and also play important role in achieving the companys goal. And here lies the reason why managers focus on motivating their employees. They come about with prize and incentive programs based on job performance and geared in the direction of the employees requirements.

It is very important to maintain a productive working environment, building positive interpersonal relationships, and problem solving. And this can be done only with Effective communication. Understanding the communication process and working on area that need improvement, help managers to become more effective communicators. The finest technique of finding the areas that requires improvement is to ask themselves and others at regular intervals, how well they are doing. This leads to better relationship and helps the managers for better directing plans.

Control, the last of four functions of management, includes establishing performance standards which are, of course, based on the companys objectives. It also involves evaluating and reporting of actual job performance. When these points are studied by the management then it is necessary to compare both things. This study on comparison of both decides further corrective and preventive actions.




Planning is concerned with the future impact of todays decisions. It is the fundamental function of management from which the other four stem. The need for planning is often apparent after the fact. However, planning is easy to postpone in the short-run. Postponement of planning especially plagues labor oriented, hands on managers.

The organizing, directing and controlling functions stem from the planning function. The manager is ready to organize and staff only after goals and plans to reach the goals is in place. Likewise, the leading function, influencing the behavior of people in the organization, depends on the goals to be achieved. Finally, in the controlling function, the determination of whether or not goals are being accomplished and standards met is based on the planning function. The planning function provides the goals and standards that drive the controlling function. [3]

Planning is important at all levels of management. However, its characteristics vary by level of management.


Planning Terminology


The order from general to specific is: vision-mission-objectives-goals. The key terms are defined as follows:

  1. Vision is nonspecific directional and motivational guidance for the entire organization. Top managers normally provide a vision for the business. It is the most emotional of the four levels in the hierarchy of purposes.
  2. Mission is an organizations reason for being. It is concerned with scope of the business and what distinguishes this business from similar businesses. Mission reflects the culture and values of top management.
  3. Objectives refine the mission and address key issues within the organization such as market standing, innovation, productivity, physical and financial resources, profitability, management and worker performance and efficiency. They are expected to be general, observable, challenging, and untimed.
  4. Goals are specific statements of anticipated results that further define the organizations objectives. They are expected to be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Rewarding, and Timed.

Development of tactics is a fifth level of planning. Tactics, the most specific and narrow plans, describe who, what, when, where and how activities will take place to accomplish a goal.


Strategic Planning


Strategic planning is one specific type of planning. Strategies are the outcome of strategic planning. An organizations strategies define the business the firm is in, the criteria for entering the business, and the basic actions the organization will follow in conducting its business. [3, 229] Strategies are major plans that commit large amounts of the organizations resources to proposed actions, designed to achieve it