Essay: Functions of Management

Pages: 5 (1755 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 7  ·  Topic: Business - Management  ·  Buy This Paper

Functions of Management

The Four Functions of Management

The universally accepted functions of management -- whether it is a baseball organization, an opera company, a Fortune 500 corporation or an elementary school in Ireland -- include: Planning, Organizing, Leading and Controlling. Professor Paul Allen of Middle Tennessee State University has written a book (Artist Management for the Music Business) in which he elaborates on the four functions of management vis-a-vis the music business, albeit his narrative can apply to many other fields and disciplines.

Planning -- Allen notes that the difference between failure and success can often be linked to the planning process that was involved in the project. "Luck by itself can sometimes deliver success" (Allen, 2011, p. 5), he explains, but when a well-designed plan is in place the manager is in a great position to "take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves" with or without luck. When the planning process is fully thought out and no stone is left unturned to make the correct preparations, success is quite likely to follow.

Leading and Directing -- the responsibility of a manager for an organization, for an athlete, a musician or a team is to lead by making certain the "talents and energy of the team are directed toward the career success of the artist" (Allen, 5). There are goals that must be set so the leadership can be directed in a specific direction, not just in some vague direction that is blithely described as "success." Leading dovetails with planning and organizing in obvious ways, but a leader should be an extrovert unafraid to step out into the world of innovation and experimentation. Being too conservative and "safe" in the leadership style can lead to failure at the worst and stagnation at the best.

Controlling -- Once a manager has established a plan, and put together the pieces in a workable formula, he or she must be firmly in charge at every step along the way. When the resources, the people, the equipment, and the financial resources are all in place and have been assembled properly, "the manager monitors how effectively the plan is being carried out and makes any necessary adjustments" so that there will no wasted resources and the plan will go forward with a positive boost (Allen, 6). The manager can't control everything, so there needs to be some realism, Allen continues, but that implies that he or she must concentrate on being flexible in order to be able to "adjust to the circumstances" (6).

Organizing -- This is an aspect of management that is closely tied to the planning function, Allen explains (5). It is a matter of "assembling the necessary resources to carry out a plan and put those resources into a logical order" (Allen, 5). More than that, organizing involves carefully laying out the various responsibilities of the team involved, and "managing everyone's time for efficiency" (Allen, 5). Every key player should have his or her time managed well by the organizing person in charge. Part of the responsibility of the organizing manager is to assure that there is funding for the project at hand.

One classic example of shrew and effective organizing used by Allen is the example of Lee Iacocca, former chairman of Chrysler Corporation, who lobbied and cajoled and managed to gain a loan of hundreds of millions of dollars from the federal government. He saved his company from bankruptcy in the late 1970s and is seen as a genius in hindsight, but it was just good planning and organizing on Iacocca's part that saved the day for tens of thousands of auto workers. Allen notes that managers' part in the organizing process also entails recruiting, hiring and training the labor talent needed to put the project on the map and see it through to its successful conclusion.

Is the organizing aspect of management the most important? The answer is a resounding yes, albeit the other three components are also key to a smooth and successful business. But the organizing component requires a world view, the big picture, touching all the bases, so to speak, because the manager has to bring all the necessary resources together, and as Allen explains, he or she must "…create a logical structure for the organization of those resources" and in the case of a manager for an artist or an athlete, he or she must develop a career plan and make sure it is executed properly. The MBA Tutorials Website adds that the focus of a manager should be on "…division, how employees should coordinate… [the] control of tasks and who should report to whom" -- put another way, this definition of organizing is basically having full knowledge of the "flow of information within the organization" (MBA Tutorials).

Robert Lussier adds that organizing entails serious "…delegating and coordinating" so that the best-trained people are specifically assigned to the most pivotal tasks; in other words, staffing, evaluating, and training talent is absolutely imperative in the organizing milieu.

Principles and processes underpinning the behaviour of groups within the workforce, the exercise setting, and on the sporting field.

In the book Psychological Dynamics of Sport and Exercise, team building is seen as very adaptable in the physical activity settings; in fact coaches and other professionals in kinesiology and other sports-related fields use team building to have an organizational impact on the behaviour of their athletes. Putting together a team building strategy is a sure way to not only lead and guide the behaviour of groups in a sporting and exercise setting, but also, it helps: a) to increase the effectiveness of the group's goals and plans; b) to satisfy the needs of its members; c) it helps improve working conditions; and d) to enhance the team competency "for both task and social purposes" (Gill, et al., 2008, 261).

Gill and colleagues refer to their team-building model as "interventions" and they offer four stages of building a team from a group of athletes or employees. The first three stages are conducted either in a workshop with coaches and other leaders; by the fourth state the leader or the coach, whoever is in charge of the team building, leads the team members. The first stage is the introductory stage when the coach / leader offers an overview as to why team building is important. In the conceptual stage the idea of group "cohesion" is presented -- along with "each category that contribute to the development of cohesiveness" (Gill, 262). The practical stage of this model allows coaches and leaders to "brainstorm to identify specific strategies" that can be used in the team building; in the final stage, the "intervention stage, the coaches or leaders introduce and maintain the team-building protocols in the group setting" (Gill, 263).

Examine and evaluate different leadership and management styles, skills and philosophies as applied to the workforce, in the exercise setting and in sports.

In the world of sports management competencies there is a universal and stable format that has stayed stable over time, according to Paul Pederson and colleagues. However there is increasing emphasis placed on managers and leaders to master "communication skills, communication technology," and to learn how to "…interact in a global and multicultural society" (Pederson, et al., 2011, 14). The competencies and skills that one gains in the workforce are the same ones that apply well in the world of sports and exercise, Pederson explains (14). All sports management responsibilities -- whether the leadership is taking place in a sport club, the front office of the Los Angeles Lakers or the New York Yankees, an intercollegiate athletics department or a big city high school sports program -- the leader needs to "…demonstrate competence in writing, speaking, and public relations as well as other tasks…" (Pederson, 15).

Some of the management and leadership skills include: budgeting, accounting, coordinating, managing personnel and facilities, controlling, directing, evaluating and leading, Pederson explains. The manager / leader must also be adept at working with media, writing, selling, promoting, fundraising, keeping statistics.

One can clearly see the four main functions of management come into play in the job of a manager or coach in a sports environment. And again, organizing is pivotal to complete the tasks required, which are significant and sometimes all fall into the same hands.

In David Watt's book Sports Management and Administration, the author explains that the role of the sports manager varies "…enormously depending on the setting" albeit the most salient task of the sports manager is to incorporate all the important management functions and "…perform them in a sports setting" (Watt, 2003, 115). The truly skillful manager will fully comprehend when each aspect of management applies and when to embrace that component of management. It is sports, to be sure, but it is also a business. Sports management is about managing: the workplace; the people; the day-to-day operations; the facility; the activity; the development process; and the partnerships (Watt, 116).

There are five philosophies of management (also known as… [END OF PREVIEW]

Functions of Management Research Paper


Management Decisions and Core HR Functions Term Paper


Management and Leadership Term Paper


Management and Leadership in Nowadays Business Environment Term Paper


Management & Supervision in Social Work Term Paper


View 1,000+ other related papers  >>

Cite This Essay:

APA Format

Functions of Management.  (2012, March 13).  Retrieved August 18, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/functions-management-four/572700

MLA Format

"Functions of Management."  13 March 2012.  Web.  18 August 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/functions-management-four/572700>.

Chicago Format

"Functions of Management."  Essaytown.com.  March 13, 2012.  Accessed August 18, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/functions-management-four/572700.