Functions of Management

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Every aspect of life requires some kind of management, and this is especially true of any endeavour that relies on human effort to attain its goals. Whether we’re managing our lives or our businesses, the same fundamentals are at play.


Management is defined as the “functions of planning, organising, directing, and controlling, and the applications of these principles in harnessing physical, financial, human, and informational resources efficiently and effectively to achieve organisational goals.”


Management is vital for the operation of any sort of organisation and is an indispensable component of a structured life. Managing one’s life involves getting things done in order to accomplish one’s personal goals, and managing an organisation means getting things done with and through the help of other people in order to accomplish the organization’s goals.


The basic concept of management can be broken down into five primary functions. These include:

  • Planning
  • Organising
  • Staffing
  • Directing
  • Controlling


Coordination, reporting, and budgeting are all components of the controlling function; hence, the controlling function can be segmented into these three distinct functions in its own right. Luther Gulick came up with the term POSDCORB based on these seven functions. The word POSDCORB generally represents the initials of these seven functions: P stands for planning, O stands for organising, S stands for staffing, D stands for directing, Co stands for coordinating, R stands for reporting, and B stands for budgeting.


However, the functions of management that are most commonly acknowledged are planning, organising, staffing, directing, and controlling.


The Five Core Responsibilities of Management

  1. Planning

Planning is focused on the future and decides the course that an organisation will take. It is a logical and methodical approach to taking decisions in the present that will have an impact on the direction the firm will take in the future. It combines elements of planned foresight and corrective hindsight in a single concept. It entails making forecasts of the future in addition to making efforts to exert influence over the course of events. It requires the ability to glimpse into the long-term future and predict how the actions being taken right now will play out.


A successful planning programme takes into account not only the influence of internal elements but also that of external ones. The external factors include shortages of resources, both capital and material, the general economic trend in terms of interest rates and inflation, dynamic technological advancements, increased government regulation regarding community interests, unstable international political environments, and other factors.


The internal elements that have an impact on planning include limited development opportunities as a result of saturation, which necessitates diversification; changing patterns of the workforce; increasingly complicated organisational structures; decentralisation; and other considerations.


  1. Organizing

When you organise something, you need to have a formal structure of authority, as well as a way to direct and flow the authority that you have, so that work subdivisions can be defined, arranged, and coordinated in such a way that each part relates to the other part in a unified and coherent manner. This is necessary in order to achieve the goals that have been established.


“To organize a business is to provide it with everything useful or its functioning i.e. raw material, tools, capital and personnel’s,” says Henry Fayol.


As a result, the function of organising entails the determination of activities that need to be done in order to achieve the goals of the company, the assignment of these activities to the appropriate personnel, and the delegation of the necessary authority to carry out these activities in a coordinated and cohesive manner.


Therefore, it follows that the functions of organising are concerned with the following things:

  • Determining the activities that have to be carried out and combining them whenever it is required to do so
  • Allocating these responsibilities to the staff while simultaneously outlining their authority and the scope of their responsibilities.
  • The delegation of this authority to the aforementioned workers
  • Putting in place a structure that establishes a connection between authority and responsibility
  • Bringing together all of these activities


  1. Staffing

The process of recruiting, hiring, training, and retaining an adequate workforce for an organisation, at both the managerial and non-managerial levels, is referred to as staffing. It entails the process of recruiting, training, developing, rewarding, and evaluating personnel, as well as sustaining this workforce through the use of appropriate incentives and motives. It is essential to hire the appropriate employees in order to successfully run a business because the human component is the most crucial part of the management process.

According to Kootz & O’Donnell, “Managerial function of staffing involves manning the organization structure through the proper and effective selection, appraisal & development of personnel to fill the roles designed in the structure”.


The fact that individuals differ in their intelligence, knowledge, abilities, experience, physical condition, age, and attitudes makes this role significantly more difficult to do, making it all the more crucial that it be performed correctly. The sociological and psychological make-up of the workforce is something that management, in addition to their technical and operational expertise, needs to have an understanding of.


  1. Directing

The directing role is concerned with leadership, communication, motivation, and monitoring in order for the employees to carry out their duties in the most effective manner possible, which will ultimately lead to the accomplishment of the goals that have been set.


The aspect of leadership that involves giving orders and directing subordinates toward appropriate actions and strategies is called directives and guidance.


The communication must be open in both directions in order for the information to be transmitted to subordinates and for the feedback to be obtained from those subordinates.


People that are highly motivated typically exhibit good performance despite receiving less instruction from their superiors, making motivation a very significant concept.


The exercise of supervising subordinates would result in constant progress reports and give supervisors the peace of mind that the directives are being carried out in the appropriate manner.


  1. Controlling

The actions that are carried out to make certain that the occurrences do not vary from the pre-arranged plans are included in the control function. These activities make up the function of control. Establishing standards for work performance, measuring that performance, comparing it to the established standards, and taking corrective actions as and when necessary to address any deviations from the standards are the activities that make up these activities.


According to Koontz & O’Donnell, “Controlling is the measurement & correction of performance activities of subordinates in order to make sure that the enterprise objectives and plans desired to obtain them as being accomplished”.


The following are components of the controlling function:

  • The determination of acceptable levels of performance.
  • The measurement of the performance that actually occurred.
  • Comparing the actual performance to the standard that has been established and determining the variances from that performance.
  • Taking steps to make things right.


All of these five aspects of management are intricately connected to one another. On the other hand, these responsibilities are so intertwined with one another that it is difficult to differentiate between them. However, it is vital to focus on each function individually and deal with it in isolation.


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