Managerial FunctionsTerm Paper

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Managerial Functions

It has many times been assumed that, once a person reaches a leading position, his or her professional life would become easier to be dealt with; even though, only a small number of people do realize that a manager's tasks are far more complicated than those of a normal employee without any leading responsibilities. Practically, the term "management" refers to "the act of directing and controlling a group of people for the purpose of coordinating and harmonizing the group towards accomplishing a goal beyond the scope of individual effort. Management encompasses the deployment and manipulation of human resources, financial resources, technological resources, and natural resources." Moreover, the tasks of a manager have been divided into 8 categories: Planning, Decision Making, Organizing, Staffing, Communicating, Motivating, Leading, and Controlling.

Planning: In my opinion, this is the key activity each manager should start his work with, and mostly because each company is subject to changes and unforeseen situations. Moreover, each manager has to be able to face the flows of the dynamic economy his company is living in, and the best method at hand for him is planning. Practically, this activity is the one that makes the difference between a successful act on the economic scene and an unsuccessful one. Moreover, this activity should be developed from the managerial level to that of the entire board committee, since it is the main attempt that should be fulfilled in order for an enterprise to survive and grow. Even though the activity is transferred as well too at a certain level, the manager is still "a planner foresees opportunities and devises ways and means to take advantage from them." Sometimes his job might not prove to be so tuff, since he may not enter many difficulties in achieving the objectives, but this is only the case of favorable situations, which I consider to be very rare.

A allow myself to make this affirmation mostly because I work at the Coca-Cola Company as a deductions representative and I have had the chance to analyze the activity of my manager. As it is commonly assumed, Coca-Cola develops its activity in a competitive environment, its main competitor being Pepsi Company. That is why I consider that my manager, and not only him, the other managers of the company as well, cannot afford to wait for favorable circumstances to occur; they have to assume risks and decide in the phase of uncertainties, and decisions in such situations of risk cannot be taken without proper planning.

In this framework, the activity of planning might be defined as "an opportunity that allows managers to evaluate the future, to grasp the trends, the probable circumstances of the influential factors that shall act (in a positive or negative sense) upon the organization." According to the environment a company lives in and to the urgency according to which a decision must be taken, there are three types of predictive activities: prognosis, planning and scheduling.

Prognosis is proper for a long-term planning, being designated for a period over 10 years and concretized in prognosis studies and scripts based on which strategic decisions are possible to be taken at the superior hierarchic level.

Planning, on the other hand, is designated for a medium and short-term predictive activity, which may last from a few years down to a semester or even less, a month. The purpose of this activity is to draw a plan

Scheduling is the option designated for short periods of time - 10 days, a week, or even a day -, presenting in detail the actions, means and resources needed for designing a certain plan. The elements of a scheduling need to be presented in an accurate manner and also involve sophisticated methods, such as the Delphi method.

The next function of the managerial position consists in decision-making, which may or may not be a follow-up of the planning activity. Practically, within each company, every activity, be it or not related to planning, organizing or communicating, is developed on the basis of taking a decision. This is the reason why it can be argued that decision-making is more than a managerial function; it is the essence of the leading process.

Moreover, the de facto taking of a decision is one of the stages of the decision-making process, which starts with the recognition of the appearance of a decisional situation. The next step that should be followed in this process is the identification of all the possible alternatives. This is the moment when the decision can be taken by choosing one of the alternatives, by using several evaluation criteria.

The above-mentioned criteria have, on the one hand, the role of putting into a hierarchy all the existing alternatives according to their framework and the situations they may cause and, on the other hand, that of presenting the levels of the alternatives and of the objectives they may constitute.

Moreover, each decision-making process has several elements at its base:

The first one is represented by the person or persons who's role is to take the decision, in this case this person being the manager, by whom qualities the quality of the decision depends. The second element is the multitude of the decision-making alternatives, which might be finite or infinite; the third is the multitude of the evaluation criteria, which is composed by the points-of-view of the person that has the role to decide. Among these criteria there is the profit, the term of the investment recover or the efficiency of the personnel. The next element is the environment, which is represented by the total number of the internal and external conditions which influence or might be influenced by the leading decision. The next component, as an element of the decision-making process, is represented by the multitude of the consequences, which comprises the sum of the potential results that could be obtained according to each decision criteria and the last element and maybe the most important of all is made of the objectives of the decision-making process, which from the point-of-view of the decision making-criteria, represents the level proposed to be attained according to them.

The third of the eight managerial functions is represented by the organizing activity, which is in close relationship with the decision making process, since its whole structure is based on the previously elected decision. Practically, at the level of an organization activity, the manager should succeed to combine all the elements necessary for the correct functioning: material resources, labor resources, and financial means.

Moreover, the manager's effort of organization s developed on two plans: one in relationship with the structure of the organization and the second is concerned with the structure of the personnel and of the material and financial resources which are necessary for a proper functioning of the company. In the former case, the manager should evaluate all the positions existing within the company and the people accounted for them, giving them well-defined tasks for which they should be properly awarded. Moreover, in the latter case, the consequences of the former should be analyzed, mainly the exact number of the employees, the costs they involve and also identify the best alternative for a good relationship between the profits and the spendings of the company.

The forth most important managerial function is, in my opinion, the Communication one. Therefore, in order for a manager to be efficient, he has to have at hand a continuum and pure informational flux on all the levels of the company. The informational fluxes are established trough the communication philosophy of the company and they are in a close relationship with its organizing system, which has the role of finding the most efficient communication channels.

On the other hand, a special attention should be drawn towards the pieces of information which circulate through these… [END OF PREVIEW]

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