Last Updated 10 Aug 2020

Four Functions of Management

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Every organization develops management systems, policies and practices to ensure effective and efficient operations towards the fulfillment of its goals. The areas of business operation that require management are complex and diverse. Sound business practice involves the breakdown of management into a set of functions covering the process involved in the smooth running of the business. Four fundamental management functions set out the guidelines in managing the business.

Completion of the four functions is necessary to good management. Working in the accounting department of a green company, manufacturing green hydroxyl generators, proved that the four management functions underlie all core activities.


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The first management function is planning. This provides the groundwork for management. Planning is identifying and analyzing the current condition and situation of the business and determining a future course for the firm (Bateman & Snell, 2009; Hitt, Ireland & Hoskisson, 2009).

Critical assessment of the business can bring out issues as well as opportunities currently experienced or likely to emerge in the future. Analysis of issues and opportunities results to a list of alternative solutions and directions for prioritization, relative to the needs of the business, to come up with the best course of action (Dess, Lumpkin & Taylor, 2004). This becomes the basis of goals and particular objectives, which direct activities to weave the future path of the business.

In a green company manufacturing hydroxyl generators, one issue is the slowdown in sales and one opportunity is to market the product to households. Currently, the bulk of the market comprise of industrial consumers. The best solution was to come up with hydroxyl generators suitable for households and convenient to use in a do-it-yourself fashion. The plan was to manufacture products for households and develop a corresponding marketing strategy targeting this market.


The second management function is organizing.

This function depends on the plan resulting from the fulfillment of the first function. Organizing is the systematization of the resources of the organization for use in the implementation of the plan (Bateman & Snell, 2009; Hitt et al. , 2009). The resources needed in implementing the plan encompass the range of capital and human resources crucial to implementation (Cole, 2003). Systematization refers to ensuring the existence or access to these resources, sufficiency of all resources needed, and arrangement of resources in the appropriate order such as according to function or schedule of use. Also read P anera Bread PESTEL analysis

The organizing function in the firm manufacturing hydroxyl generator, relative to the plan to develop products for household use, covers adjustments in the internal structure to accommodate the new sub-production, changes in manager and team tasks, improving personnel coordination, and allocation of funds for equipment purchase and upgrade as well as hiring and training/retraining of personnel. The synchronized use of resources (Cole, 2003) ushers the achievement of the goal.


The third management function is leading.

This function co-occurs with the other functions by commencing even during the planning and organizing stages. Leading is the exercise of influence over behavior and supervision of actions of employees (Bateman & Snell, 2009). One targeted outcome is ensuring that the contribution of individual employees support the achievement of objectives. Another intended outcome is improved performance by creating conditions that usher the fulfillment of not only the work but also the personal goals of employees.

(Hitt et al. , 2009) Leading in the green company involves a number of activities. Establishing communication links between the new sub-production team and the rest of the departments and ensuring the sharing of information along the vertical structure of the business is a leadership initiative. Team and capability building are also important to ensure cohesiveness of action. Group training and mentoring are some of the ways to achieve these as well as to encourage initiative at the front line.

Motivation is another leadership activity with those at the top level able to influence organizational behavior through reason, emotion or both using tangible and non-tangible offers.


The fourth management function is controlling. The criteria or guidelines for controlling emerge during the fulfillment of the planning function and application happens during the implementation of the plan. Controlling is developing and using performance measures or standards to assess job performance, task completion, and goal accomplishment (Bateman & Snell, 2009; Hitt et al., 2009). The outcomes become the basis of changes or modifications to processes, activities and relationships throughout implementation (Cole, 2003). Through this function, management of the green company would be able to identify problems in developing and marketing hydroxyl generators to households. By knowing the problems, management can do the necessary adjustments. Preventive measures can also allay anticipated problems. Conclusion

With the complex and diverse areas for management, there are four fundamental functions provide the framework in handling these areas. Planning is identifying the problems and needs of the firms and setting goals to guide a course of action. Organizing is systematizing all resources for use in implementing the plan. Leading is influencing behavior and directing activity. Controlling is developing standards and assessing performance and goal completion.


Bateman, T. , & Snell, S. (2009). Management: Leading and collaborating in a competitive world (8th ed. ).

New York: McGraw-Hill. Cole, G. A. (2003). Strategic management: Theory and practice (2nd ed. ).

Florence, KY: Thomson Learning. Dess, G. G. , Lumpkin, G. T. , & Taylor, M. L. (2004). Strategic management: Creating competitive advantages (2nd ed. ).

New York: McGraw-Hill. Hitt, M. A. , Ireland, D. R. , & Hoskisson, R. E. (2009). Strategic management: Competitiveness and globalization (8th ed. ).

Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.

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