Managers and functions

Managers get things done through other people. They make decisions, allocate resources, and direct the activities of others to attain goals. Managers do their work in an organization. This is a consciously coordinated social unit, composed unit, composed of two or more people that functions on relatively continuous basis to achieve a common goal or set of goals. On the basis of this definition, manufacturing and service firms are organizations and so are schools, hospitals, churches, military units, retail stores, police departments, and local, state, and the central government. The people who oversee the activities of others and who are responsible for attaining goals in these organizations are managers although they’re sometimes called administrators, especially in not for profit organizations.

Management Functions

In the early part of the 20th century, A French industrialist by the name of Henri Fayol wrote that all managers perform five management functions: They plan, organize, command, coordinate, and control. Today, we have condensed these to four planning, organizing, leading, and controlling.

Because organizations exist to achieve goals, someone has to define those goals and the means for achieving them and Management is that someone. The planning function encompasses defining an organization’s goals, establishing an overall strategy for achieving those goals, and developing a comprehensive set of plans to integrate and coordinate activities.

Managers are also responsible for designing an organization’s structure. We call this function organizing. It includes determining what tasks are to be done, who is to do them, how the tasks are to be grouped, who reports to whom, and where decisions are to be made.

Every organization contains people, and it is management’s job to direct and coordinate those people. This is the leading function. When managers motivate employees, direct the activities of others, select the most effective communication channels, or resolve conflicts among members, they’re engaging in leading.

The final function managers perform is controlling. To ensure that things are going as they should, management must monitor the organization’s performance. Actual performance must be compared with previously set goals. If there are any significant deviations, it’s management’s job to get the organization back on track. This monitoring, comparing, and potential correcting is what is meant by the controlling function.’

So, using the functional approach the answer to the question, ‘What do managers do?’ is they plan, organize, lead, and control.