Functions of Management

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gers cannot reduce motivation to a simple choice of one of these approaches. Each of the three approaches contributes to an understanding of motivation and how motivation varies person to person and over time.

The most effective motivation for employees comes from within each employee, i.e., self-motivation. Possible indicators of self-motivation include: past accomplishments in school, sports, organizations and work; stated career goals and other kinds of goals; expertise in one or more areas that shows evidence of craftsmanship, pride in knowledge and abilities, and self-confidence; an evident desire to continue to learn; and a general enthusiasm for life. [2]


Communication Model


The process starts with a sender who has a message for a receiver. Two or more people are always involved in communication. The sender has the responsibility for the message.

The senders message travels to the receiver through one or more channels chosen by the sender. The channels may be verbal or nonverbal. They may involve only one of the senses, hearing for example, or they may involve all five of the senses: hearing, sight, touch, smell, and taste. Nonverbal communication, popularly referred to as body language, relies primarily on seeing rather than hearing.

The sending of a message by an appropriate channel to a receiver appears to have completed the communication process or at least the senders responsibility. Not so! After sending the message, the sender becomes a receiver and the receiver becomes a sender through the process of feedback. Feedback is the receivers response to the attempt by the sender to send the message. Feedback is the key to determination by the sender of whether or not the message has been received in the intended form. Feedback involves choice of channel by the receiver of the original message. The channel for feedback may be quite different from the original channel chosen by the sender. A puzzled look may be the feedback to what the sender considered a perfectly clear oral instruction.

Problems with any one of the components of the communication model can become a barrier to communication. These barriers suggest opportunities for improving communication.

  1. Muddled messages
  2. Stereotyping
  3. Wrong channel
  4. Language
  5. Lack of feedback
  6. Poor listening skills
  7. Interruptions
  8. Physical distractions

The following general guidelines may help communication. This is a part of the third goal.

  1. Have a positive attitude about communication. Defensiveness interferes with communication.
  2. Work at improving communication skills. It takes knowledge and work. The communication model and discussion of barriers to communication provide the necessary knowledge.
  3. Include communication as a skill evaluated along with all the other skills in each persons job description.
  4. Make communication goal oriented. Relational goals come first and pave the way for other goals.
  5. Approach communication as a creative process rather than simply part of the chore of working with people. Experiment with communication alternatives.
  6. Accept the reality of miscommunication. The best communicators fail to have perfect communication.

Communication is at the heart of many interpersonal problems in family businesses. Understanding the communication process and then working at improvement provide managers a recipe for becoming more effective communicators. Knowing the common barriers to communication is the first step to minimizing their impact. Managers can reflect on how they are doing and use the ideas presented in this paper. When taking stock of how well you are doing as a manager and family member, first ask yourself and others how well you are doing as a communicator.




High quality farm worker performance requires implementation of carefully made tactical plans. Deviations from the plans by employees results in standards not being met and goals not being accomplished. Managers must deal with employees deviation from rules, procedures and expected behaviors. Employees coming late to work, not following safety procedures when working alone, not properly cleaning equipment in their rush to get home, and using wrong or wrong amounts of medication are examples of unacceptable behavior that should be addressed rather than ignored. A cautionary note is in order. Employers can easily confuse discipline problems with selection, training and communication problems. This discussion of discipline applies to those cases in which the employee can reasonably be expected to perform or behave according to established standards, norms or rules, i.e., they have been carefully selected, well trained and are regularly evaluated.

A disciplined person exhibits the self-control, dedication and orderly conduct consistent with successful performance of job responsibilities. This discipline may come through self-discipline, co-workers or the supervisor/employer. Self-discipline is best and most likely to come from well selected, trained, and motivated people who regularly have feedback on their performance.

An employee not performing up to the agreed upon standards or not following the understood rules is object to punishment, i.e., disciplinary action. Punishing or disciplining employees falls among the least pleasant activities in human resource management. In the short-run, doing nothing or ignoring errant actions and behavior almost always comes easier than taking the needed action. Not disciplining when needed sends confusing messages to the errant employee, other employees and other managers in the farm business. If starting work at 6:30 a.m. rather than 6:00 a.m. draws no reaction from the employer, does this mean the starting time has been changed to 6:30?

Several guidelines help to reduce the compounding of discipline problems with problems in disciplining. Both employers and employees need to know the rules and performance expectations. An employee handbook or other form of written statement provided each employee is basic. Rules should be uniformly enforced among all employees. If special rules apply to a certain employee, e.g., use of the pickup truck without asking permission, other employees need to be so informed. Punishment should be based on facts. All parties should be heard rather than depending on one person only for facts. Action should be taken promptly. Saving up a series of minor problems and infractions for a grand explosion is poor disciplinary practice. All discipline other than discharge should have the objective of helping the employee. Permit the employee to maintain self-respect by disciplining the employees behavior or act. Do not berate the person.

Keeping punishment consistent with the severity of an offense challenges all labor managers. Being thirty minutes tardy for work the fourth time in two weeks has to be handled differently from being thirty minutes tardy for the first time in two years. Theft of tools has to be handled differently than tardiness for work. Progressive discipline provides a formal structure within which errant employees can be handled. In progressive discipline, the severity of punishment increases in relation to the seriousness of the offense or the number of times an offense is repeated. Typical levels in progressive discipline are: informal talk and counseling, oral warning or reprimand, written warning, disciplinary layoff and discharge.

Both employers and employees usually react negatively to the atmosphere of conflict and parent disciplining child inherent to progressive discipline. High priority placed on selection, training, informal communication and performance appraisal reduces the need for punishment of employees. Treating employees as adults, expecting them to rely on self-assessment for correcting problems and relying on informal counseling rather than formal reprimands provide an atmosphere of positive discipline.




Controlling is a four-step process of establishing performance standards based on the firms objectives, measuring and reporting actual performance, comparing the two, and taking corrective or preventive action as necessary.

Performance standards come from the planning function. No matter how difficult, standards should be established for every important task. Although the temptation may be great, lowering standards to what has been attained is not a solution to performance problems. On the other hand, a manager does need to lower standards when they are found to be unattainable due to resource limitations and factors external to the business. [1]

Corrective action is necessary when performance is below standards. If performance is anticipated to be below standards, preventive action must be taken to ensure that the problem does not recur. If performance is greater than or equal to standards, it is useful to reinforce behaviors that led to the acceptable performance.

Characteristics of the Control Process


The control process is cyclical which means it is never finished. Controlling leads to identification of new problems that in turn need to be addressed through establishment of performance standards, measuring performance etc.

Employees often view controlling negatively. By its very nature, controlling often leads to management expecting employee behavior to change. No matter how positive the changes may be for the organization, employees may still view them negatively.

Control is both anticipatory and retrospective. The process anticip