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Four Functions of Management Essay Sample

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Four Functions of Management Essay Sample

The key managerial functions of planning, organizing, leading and controlling are all crucial to the success of any manager (Rothbauer-Wanish 2009). Managers at all levels use these functions for all their management tasks. These functions are crucial for the day to day operations of any business. Managers are responsible for implementing these steps in a successful manner. To become an effective and efficient manager, one has to incorporate the four management functions of planning, organizing, leading and controlling continually for each task of work (Schermerhorn 2011). When a manager takes on the responsibility of a task, he/she must use each function in order to ensure the management process of the task is successful.

In order for a successful manager to organize the correct personnel for the task and allocate the appropriate resources, he/she must ensure proper planning is set into place to gather the correct task objectives and understand how to achieve them. Managers will then lead their working force by providing them with direction and inspiring them to work hard to accomplish the planning objectives set for the task. In order for the management to measure the work process, management will control the work process and make the appropriate decisions to correct the results to a desired outcome as necessary.

By controlling the task, managers play an active role with the workers and are able to compare the objective’s results and make constructive changes when needed. Bottom line up front, a management system cannot process without inputs and outputs. As a manager, you use your internal organizational subsystems to process the given inputs and achieve the desired outputs. In the military, as in business, we function as managers with our own network of subsystems. As the manager, I receive a mission from a higher headquarters and relay through my organizational subsystems of personnel, intelligence, training, logistics and communication. Through extensive coordination, these subsystems work together interpreting guidance, mission needs and top manager’s end state to achieve the end goal of mission success and performance efficiency and effectiveness. This analogy works the same whether you are military, a small business, a chain department store or a corporate office.

Whether an open system or a system of subsystems the productivity of the outputs are based on the quality and amount of the inputs. With any management system, operations control the separate subsystems to work as one entity to perform tasks and ultimately process an efficient output. The controlling function of management helps managers become more efficient by actually having contact with the workers. Since no idea is perfect the first time, managers use controlling to watch and compare production and change or modify the progress to ensure a better product. To ensure the controlling method is effective, before the work begins, managers ensure workers have clear objectives, direction and resources needed to properly do their jobs. During production, managers use concurrent controls to steer the workers as they see the mistakes and changes that need to be made to the work flow. In the military, we call this “on the spot corrections.”

When the process is complete, the process feedback is required to determine the positives and negatives of the entire operation. In military operations, After Action Reviews are used to review all steps taken throughout the entire mission process to see where we executed correctly and where the mistakes are made and what can be done to eliminate those mistakes to achieve a higher success rate in the following missions. There is always room for improvements in any business process.

In conclusion, although the times change and advance in technology occurs, the basic rules of a good quality management remain intact and are still relevant in the business world today. When implemented correctly, these four functions can help ensure a manager’s and business’s success. Before a manager can apply these techniques, they must be able to understand the fundamentals and basics. Without understanding the management basics, one cannot be a good, effective manager.


Rothbauer-Wanish, Heather, Business Management @ suite 101, 29 April 2009, Retrieved from http://www.suite 101.com/article/four-functions-of-management-a113463 Schermerhorn, John R., “Management”, 2011 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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