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Functions of Management
Management refers to the act of operating and controlling activities to achieve success. Also, management is usually the act of getting things done through people in order to achieve the stated goals and objectives. Henri Fayol gives a definition to management as a systematic process involving planning, organizing, leading and controlling the effort of others and using all the resources available to achieve the established goals and objectives of the organization. It entails the process of utilizing resources in the most effective and efficient manner in an effort to attain the expected success. Henry Fayol describes the functions of management mentioned above through the prism of fourteen management principles that cover the entire favor of administrative theory of management. Some of the principles include: specialization of labor, responsibility, discipline, unity of command, equity, unity of direction and centralization (Luthans & Doh, 2011).
According to Henri Fayol, planning is a process of deciding in advance what to do, how to do it, as well as when and where is it going to be done. Planning is based on choice of the course of actions, and it is a necessity to select from the available alternatives. It is a proactive and deliberate process, which requires careful evaluation and analysis from the individuals. Planning enables the attainment of the organizational goals and objectives, as well as working towards the personal success. A cyclic process allows for unity of goals, the continuity of energy expenditure and an opportunity to minimize uncertainty and chance. Planning directs the attention to the established objectives and provides a person with the means of control. According to Henri Fayol, planning precedes all other management functions. Without adequate planning the management process fails, and it will result in the unmet goals and managers personal failure. A student must plan his/her activities to ensure success in their studies. Adequate planning for time constraints and prioritization between activities is a way to success, and a failure to plan results in problems with studies. Planning process involves establishing objectives, evaluating the present situation and predicting for the future events and trends, formulating a course of actions, and converting this course of action into an actual activities (Committee on Outsourcing Design and Construction-Related Management Services for Federal Facilities, et. al.., 2000).
Organizing involves the establishment of a formal structure that will provide the best coordination and use of time and physical resources to accomplish the set goals and objectives. Organizing phase involves identification of relationships, outlying of procedures and assignment of tasks appropriately. Similar tasks are grouped together in order to manage interdependence and provide for a smooth flow of activities. The organizational process requires identification of the activities to be carried out, division of the tasks involved, developing a chain of actions and command, and assigning the activities to people. In the company, planning requires the combination of possible ways to manage labor to complete different tasks and coordinate them to achieve a common goal. For a student organizing tasks is very important, as it ensures that he/she does all activities in time without interactions. Teachers also need to be well-organized in order to cover their objectives effectively in appropriate time (Luthans & Doh, 2011).
Leading involves the process of motivating others to get the work done. Basically, it means to guide, to run in a specific direction, to direct, to go ahead of, to be the first, or to move towards a specific goal. The way of using the power, level of authority, and the type of leadership style are important factors in determining the persons or manager's ability to lead others. Leadership can be formal or informal. The person's communication abilities, motivational techniques and delegation skill are important tools in directing. Leading is the process, through which an individual influences a group to pursue the objectives outlined. It is also the course of actions to empower, believe in, and teach other to use their full capabilities. I have seen the empowerment being applied by a teacher to his students. He lead them towards success through motivating to study and achieve more (Marquis & Huston, 2009).
The primary aim of control function is to measure the performance against the aim, objectives, and standards. The major aim of controlling is to establish a corrective action to be undertaken if necessary in order to keep in line with the goals and objectives. It involves establishing standards of performance, determining the means of measuring the performance, evaluating, and providing feedback. While planning represents the route map of the journey, organizing represents the means of reaching the chosen destination, controlling ensures that the travellers know how well they are progressing within the route and what action they are to make to stay on course (Luthans & Doh, 2011).
Management process is important in every organization and in life, as it helps individuals attain organizational and personal goals and objectives. It helps in working with individuals and through employment of resources towards success. For effective management and leadership there ought to be creative problem solving, motivation of individuals, and following of four functions described by Henri Fayol. The functions of management are very essential and help in separating the management process from other business functions. Moreover, it is applicable in many aspects of the life, including management of studies by a students, which is actual for me.