Definition of the Term Management

Management is necessary because resources are scarce and factors such as employees , technology costs keep changing.

Effectiveness is the ability to obtain the intended results, while efficiency is accomplishing the objectives by utilising minimum resources.

Management functions involve planning, organising, coordinating, controlling and directing a business.

1. Planning

Planning is necessary for commitment of organisation resources. It involves deciding in advance the actions to be taken, when and how. Planning involves setting of objectives and goals to be achieved and deciding which activities should be carried out to achieve them. In planning the manager needs to involve the other employees to get their commitment in achieving the set objectives.

2. Organising

A manager must delegate tasks to others since he cannot do everything. These employees must have the resources to be able to perform tasks effectively. The manager is therefore responsible for organising people and resources in a manner that facilitates achievement of organisations objectives.

3. Directing

Directing is influencing other people towards achieving organisation goals. It involves guiding, leading, supervising and motivating others to achieve set targets and deadlines.

4. Controlling

Controlling involves checking the progress made towards the desired goal and correcting deviations that may occur. The manager must try to measure and evaluate the work of all individuals and groups to make sure that they are on target.

5. Coordinating

Coordinating involves working together. A manager must coordinate the various departments in the organisation to ensure smooth running of organisation activities. This can be done through regular meetings.

6. Leadership/motivation

Leadership involves directing human resource for optimum contribution. A good leader works with his staff as a team. As a team leader the manager must motivate his staff and take care of them. He should be able to tap and fully exploit the potential of those he leads.

7. Decision Making

All the management functions discussed above involve decision making. The manager should make sound decisions for the smooth flow of the business. Not all decisions made in a business have equal importance.

Decisions can be divided into:

  • Strategic decision – These are very important decisions that can affect the overall success of the business. These are rarely taken (made) and could include: future plans, change of status, long term investment etc.
  • Tactical decision – These are taken more frequently and are less important. They could include: ways of training staff, methods of advertising, types of machine to purchase etc. these decisions can be made by middle management.
  • Operational – These are day to day decisions taken by lower level management. Examples include: staffing levels, stocking levels, methods of delivery of goods etc.

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