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Functions of Management

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Essay title: Functions of Management

Management is an important aspect of economic life, which deals with those personnel who are concerned with managing of business enterprise. Management is essential wherever human efforts are to be undertaken collectively to satisfy the wants. It regulates the man’s activities through coordinated use of the material resources.

The business characteristics of management remain the same whether the enterprise is to be managed as a family, a club, business enterprise or trade union. Higher-level authorities such as chief executives, heads of department who has some power in decision-making formulate the objectives of the enterprise. In fact the objectives are formulated and presented to the working personnel in the enterprise, which varies according to their level and their position in the enterprise. The enterprise will be having workers from low level to high-level members. The knowledge and experience play a key role in formulating those policies of the enterprise.

The number of levels of management in a particular enterprise depends on the size of the enterprise, market value and nature of production based on quality as well as quantity. A large enterprise needs different levels of management which has the responsibility to make all the workers get motivated, get organized in order to get the job done within the certain time period and bring a mutual understanding among the workers in different levels of the enterprise. In order to accomplish, this understanding among the workers proper planning should be done for various levels in the enterprise, the plan should have the capability to project the nature of their work and the objectives of the enterprise. “For example, if an enterprise manufactures different kinds of products in large volume, there is need for several layers of management in the enterprise, which would be helpful in bringing better inter-relationship between the members within the organization.” (Kezner, 2005) Here is a brief description of each level.

Top-Level

This level is responsible for setting strategic direction, and also is concerned with how to best utilize funds, new product decisions, how to read and address trends in the market place. Profitability goals and long term vs short term trade offs are the purview of this level of management, as are exit strategy decisions.

Middle-Level

These managers are responsible for organizing others to accomplish tasks. They are usually given (or help define) goals and they decide / prioritize the tasks needed to accomplish those goals. Then they work to assign ways that the tasks can be accomplished within constraints of budget, staffing levels, equipment etc. Middle-level management is often responsible for coordination between groups. In practice many managers (especially in technical fields) divide their time between actually doing management work and being workers or foremen (doing other work that needs to be done).

First-Level

It’s a person in charge of a small crew who is also a worker on that crew. It addition to doing the work, the first-level management is responsible for leadership and intra-crew decisions such as scheduling, making sure the crew has enough supplies, etc. But the manager cannot change the direction or makeup of the crew nor can he/she make major decisions about the crew’s assignments. The manager is usually given a task for the crew to perform – he helps organize the crew to accomplish the task, but can’t modify the task.

First-level managers tend to ask When? What? and Where? because they are responsible for getting stuff done. Middle managers ask How? and Who? because they are given a goal and have to muster resources and assign them often within budgetary constraints. Top-level managers ask WHY? Because they are responsible for the strategic purpose of what is being done.

The management should provide a clear view about the nature of the work in that particular level, what are all the objectives to be accomplished, goals to be achieved. But in order to achieve greater efficiency and maximum productivity the levels present in the enterprise should be kept at minimum. If there are many levels in the enterprise the cost spend for planning, resources needed for that level will be increased this might have a great impact on the profit margin of the enterprise. “It might also create problems in communication channels between different personnel’s of different levels, which would be very difficult to control and coordinate.” (Goodstein, Nolan & Pfeiffer, 1993, p.102)

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