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Management: Theory, Practice, Application

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Functions of Management

Management is defined as the process of working with people and resources to accomplish organizational goals Snell, Bateman (2007). Even though the people, resources and goals might change constantly, the one thing that never changes is the way that managers achieve these goals. The entire concept and effectiveness of management is made up of four distinct and equally important functions. The four functions of management, defined as planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. These four functions, when applied simultaneously will create a work environment that’s conducive to productivity. If any one of the four functions is not applied by managers that manager has failed to be an effective leader. It is important for managers to know what the four functions are and how to apply them in the work place. As a manager your tasks and duties will vary, having such a big work load often makes it difficult to continually apply the four functions of management. It’s important to periodically double check and make sure that you’re applying all four of these functions in a judicious manner.


Planning is specifying the goals to be achieved and deciding in advance the appropriate actions needed to achieve those goals Bateman, Snell (2007). Murphy’s Law (2007) states that “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”. Planning is an integral part of any goal. Take as an example my employer Safety-Kleen, where I am employed as a market sales specialist. The sales period is four weeks; there is a quota that every salesman must meet by the end of the four week period. Safety-Kleen has many sales tools available to the employees that are designed to help its sales force meet their quota. There’s one basic element that must be applied along with these sales tools in order for the sales force to be successful, that element is planning. I’ve learned through observation of other coworkers that high tech sales tools and flashy sales ability are not effective if there’s no planning beforehand.


Organizing is assembling and coordinating the human,

financial, physical, informational, and other resources

needed to achieve goals Bateman, Snell (2007). Good organization skills are critical when it comes to managing personnel. In my experience at Safety-Kleen, I’ve found that there’s not much organization being applied by management. The lack of organization from management seems to filter down to the employees. Most of my co-workers are not as effective as they should be because of this lack of organization. Many times upper management will question why the sales force aren’t performing as forecasted. The one thing that they don’t or won’t realize is that organization is missing.


Leading is stimulating people to be high performers. It includes motivating and communicating with employees, individually and in groups Bateman, Snell (2007). Every team needs a leader, and every successful team has an effective leader. A team without a leader is a team without direction. Good leaders know how to motivate and inspire employees to perform at their best. When it comes to team building and direction, having the ability to lead well just might be your most important asset. In order to be a good leader the manager must understand his employees, and how to best motivate them. Part of the ability in being an effective manager is understanding that all employees are not the same. Management positions require that you handle different people with different personality types. Understanding your employee personality types and what motivates them the best will allow you to be a better leader.


Controlling monitors performance and implements necessary

changes. Monitoring is an essential aspect of control Bateman,

Snell (2007). The function of control is a double edged sword,

both sides of this function must be utilized. Control without

monitoring is futile and without controls the only thing to

monitor is chaos and disorganization. The control function of

management is best displayed in the military. The

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