Four Management Functions


The management functions concerned with defining goals for future organizational performance and deciding on the tasks and resource use needed to attain them.

Planning defines where the organization wants to be in the future and how to get there. Planning means defining goals for future organizational performances and deciding on the tasks and use of resources needed to attain them. At AOL time Warner the marketing chiefs of the various divisions – AOL, HBO, Time Inc., Turner Broadcasting Warner Bros., and a dozen other units get together every three weeks to talk about future projects and how the divisions can work together to make them more successful. Thanks to careful planning for example almost every division was involved in promoting the final film in the Lord of the rings trilogy.

A lack of planning or poor planning can hurt an organization’s performance. For example, clothing retailer Merry Go round a once ubiquitous presence in mails across America slid into bankruptcy and ultimate disappeared as a result of poor planning. Top manger’s lack of vision in perceiving market direction and demographic trends, weak planning efforts regarding acquisitions and growth and the failure to prepare for management succession helped to kill a 1,500 store billion dollar nation wide chain.


The management function concerned with assigning tasks, grouping tasks into departments and allocating resources to departments.

Organizing typically follows planning and reflects how the organizations; tries to accomplish the plan. Organizing involves the assignments of tasks, the grouping of tasks into departments, ad the assignment of authority and allocation of resources across the organization. Hewlett Packard Sears, Xerox, and Microsoft have all undergone structural reorganization to accommodate their changing plans. Voyant Technologies a maker of teleconferencing equipment revised its structure to meet goals of increased sales and faster product development. By creating new position specifically to bridge the gap between product managers engineers Voyant realized a 25 percent increase in sales, a 20 percent reduction in development costs, and 40 percent improvements in time to market.

Leading is the use of influence to motivate employees to achieve organizational goals, leading mean creating a shared culture and values, communicating goals to employees throughout the organizations and infusing employees with the desire to perform at a high level. Leading involves motivating entire departments and divisions as well as those individuals working immediately with the manager. In an era of uncertainty international competition and a growing diversity of the workforce the ability to shape culture, communicate goals, and motivate employees is critical to business success. Many managers working quietly in both large and small organizations around the worlds also provide strong leadership neither within departments, teams nor for profit organizations and small businesses.

The management function concerned with monitoring employees’ activities keeping the organizations on track toward its goals and making corrections as needed.

Controlling is the fourth function in the management process. Controlling is monitoring employee activities determining whether the organization is on target towards its goals making corrections if necessary. Managers must ensure that the organization is moving toward its goals. New trends toward empowerment and trust of employees have led many companies to place less emphasis on top down control and more emphasis on training employees to monitor and correct themselves.

New information technology is also helping managers provide needed organizational control without strict top down constraints. Companies such as Cisco Systems and Oracle use the Internet and other information technology to coordinate and monitor virtually every aspect of operations which enables managers to keep tabs on performance without maintaining daily authoritarian control over employees. Cisco employees have amazing freedom to make decisions and take action, But they also known that top managers keep a close eye on what’s going on throughout the company with just a few mouse clicks.

Organization failure can result when managers are not serious about control or lack control information. Particularly in turbulent times managers need effective control systems to help them make fast, difficult decisions.