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4 Functions of Management

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Essay title: 4 Functions of Management



Farm and Ranch Business Management Functions

Curriculum Guide


I. Goals and Objectives

A. Learn the basic concepts of the following three functions of management: organizing, staffing and directing, and controlling.

B. Learn the interrelationship between these functions.

C. Learn how to utilize these concepts in the management of your business.

II. Description/Highlights

A. Management functions include organizing, staffing and directing, controlling, and planning. The planning function, while not discussed in this set of materials, is discussed in RM3-19.0, "Managing Your Farm and Ranch Operation." The organizing function is the management process of identifying or establishing jobs, positions and chain of command. Organization should facilitate the communication needed to make good decisions at all levels of the operation. Organizing is also inventorying physical and financial resources, identifying skills and talents among employees, and physically arraying these resources for efficient use.

B. How the business is organized is fundamental to communication within the business, the delegation of authority, the risk management plan of the overall business, and the process of supporting good decisions. The whole point of organization and organizational charts is to make the operation run smoothly and efficiently.

C. Every decision made by any manager is based on information. The business organization provides for information flow. Figures 1, 2 and 3 illustrate various communication and information flows (who answers to whom). Note that in each example there is a two way flow. Review Figures 1, 2, and 3.

D. Lead the group in developing an organizational chart for their businesses. Starting at the top of a page, draw in each position; list the person or position to whom the position reports to; list the person(s) who are supervised by the position, and list the responsibilities of each position including the manager.

E. Staffing and directing is personnel management. Staffing is the process of identifying and placing people in positions, while directing involves identifying employee strengths and weaknesses, and matching positions with the most suitable personnel. Directing is also training, evaluating, firing employees, communicating to employees what is expected of them, telling employees how they are doing (rewarding), and providing conditions and opportunities for advancement.

F. Effective staffing begins by filling each position with the best person available. A manager must thoroughly understand the responsibilities of each position. The job description is critical.

G. Treating employees with respect will bring about improvement in employee morale, productivity, and appreciation for the work performed. Adequate training and continuing education are important in keeping workers productive and loyal. Employees who feel good about where they work are likely to believe that the better the business does, the better they do.

H. The controlling function is the process of measuring a firm’s progress and involves collecting information that can help you track the business’ health and progress towards attaining goals. There are many farm and ranch financial and production management measures that can help in decision making.

I. Lead the group in developing the 10 most important financial and production management measures for their business.

J. The controlling function is very much the measurement of management - measuring the attainment of your goals. If you have been successful, set the next goal. If unsuccessful, identify what must be changed to reach you goal.

III. Potential Speakers

A. Extension economists

B. Management consultant

IV. Review Questions

1. Why is it important to have a well organized business?

Answer: The whole point of having a well organized business is to make the operation run smoothly. When a business is well organized, everyone understand their duties and responsibilities. The lines of communication move information to the decision-makers or managers and allows for

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