The Four Functions of Management
September 18, 2011
In this paper the objective is to examine the four functions of management, and illustrate their use in the everyday work environment. Numerous people say management has more functions. "In the early twentieth century Henri Fayol identified five elements of administrative management: planning, organizing, coordinating, commanding, and controlling" (Andrews, Winter 2004, p. 6). Not until "1973 in the book Professional Management, Louis Allen identified functions" (Andrews, Winter 2004, p. 6) into four "basic functions of management: planning, organizing, leading, and controlling" (Andrews, ...view middle of the document...
The United States Army is a firm believer of the planning function. A saying the United States Army uses daily, prior planning prevents poor performance. Before every deployment Soldiers check there equipment. This ensures a Soldier is completely ready for the mission to come. Units conduct training and brief information so that every Soldier can make it home safely and return to awaiting families.
The second function, "organizing is assembling and coordinating the human, financial, physical, informational, and other resources needed to achieve goals. Organizing activities include attracting people to the organization, specifying job responsibilities, grouping jobs into work units, marshaling and allocating resources, and creating conditions so that people and things work together to achieve maximum success" (Bateman & Snell, 2009, p. 20). The organizing phase takes the aspects of the plan and obtains the manpower and resources needed to achieve the goal competently and successfully. "To be efficient is to achieve goals with minimal waste of resources, that is, to make the best possible use of money, time, materials, and people" (Bateman & Snell, 2009, p. 19). Efficient means that every Soldier returns home. "To be effective is to achieve organizational goals" (Bateman & Snell, 2009, p. 19). Basically effective means to complete the mission successfully. When organizing a person must take account of, obtaining people interested in the plan, designate certain responsibilities, devise teams for each job, look at the available resources and any resources available to complete a successful goal. The military considers organization to be very important. Deployments are very demanding on Soldiers and their families. Prior to any deployment a unit will take equipment and do pre-combat checks, organize equipment, and place it into the proper containers so that at any given time a Soldier is ready for the mission.
The third function is leading and in leading an organization stimulates "people to be high performers. It includes motivating and communicating with employees, individually and in groups. Leading involves close day-to-day contact with people, helping to guide and inspire them toward achieving team and organizational goals" (Bateman & Snell, 2009, p. 20). A good leader is one that can motivate an individual complete the job at hand but also want to complete the job for the success of the organization. Companies and organizations are in need of good leaders. Leaders who inspire employees, achieve good results, and generate a positive work environment. A company or organization can have a negative leader who does not set good examples to be followed and steers employees in the wrong direction and consequently hinders a company.