Management and Purpose

Management is the process of designing and maintaining an environment in which individuals working together in groups efficiently accomplish selected aims. This basic definition needs to be expanded.

  • *As managers people carry out the managerial functions of planning, organizing, staffing, leading and controlling.
  • *Management applies to any kind of organization.
  • *It applies to managers at all organizational levels.
  • *The aim of all managers is the same; to create a surplus.
  • Managing is concerned with productivity, this implies effectiveness and efficiency.

Many of the 40 very rich  people in America under the age of 40 are also managers. One of the most powerful managers was Bill Clinton, the former president of the United States. The governor of the State of California is also a manager and in some ways, so is the head of the Roman Catholic Church, one of the largest global organizations. But also those middle level managers and first line supervisors make important contributions to the goal of their organizations. All manage organizations which can be defined as a group of people working together to create a surplus. In business organizations, this surplus is profit. In non-profit organizations such as charitable organizations, it may be the satisfaction of needs. Universities also create a surplus through generation and dissemination of knowledge as well as providing services to the community or society. Many scholars and managers have found that the analysis of management is facilitated by a useful and clear organization of knowledge. In studying management, therefore, it is helpful to break it down into five managerial functions – planning, organizing, staffing, leading and controlling – around which can be organized the knowledge that underlines those functions. Thus, the concepts, principles, theory, and techniques of management are grouped into these five functions. This framework has been used and tested for many years, although there are different ways of organizing managerial knowledge. Although  the emphasis in this article is on managers’ tasks that pertain to designing an internal environment for performance  within an organization it must never be overlooked that managers must operate in the external environment of an enterprise as well. Clearly, managers cannot perform their tasks well unless they have an understanding of, and are responsive to the many elements of the external environment – economic, technological, social, political and ethical factors – that affect their areas of operations. Moreover, many organizations operate now in different countries. Therefore, this article takes a global perspective of managing. Management as an essential for any organization: Managers are charged with the responsibility of taking actions that will make it possible for individuals to make their best contributions to group objectives. Management thus applies to small and large organizations, to profit   and not-for-profit enterprises to manufacturing as well as service industries. The term enterprise refers to businesses, government agencies, hospitals, universities and other organizations since almost everything said in this article refers to business as well as non-business organizations. Effective managing is the concern of the corporation president, the hospital administrator, the government first line supervisor, the Boy Scout leader, the bishop in the church, the baseball manager and the university president. Managerial functions at different organizational levels: Here in this write up no basic distinction is made between managers, executives, administrators, and supervisors. To be sure a given situation may differ considerably among various levels in an organization or various types of enterprises. Similarly the scope of authority held may vary ad the types of problems dealt with may   be considerably different. Furthermore the person in a managerial role may be directing people in the sales, engineering or finance department. But the fact remains that as managers all obtain results by establishing an environment for effective group endeavour. All managers carry out managerial functions. However, the time spent for each function may differ. Thus, top-level managers spend more time on planning and organizing than do lower level managers. Leading on the other hand, takes a great deal of time for first-line supervisors. The difference in time spent on controlling varies only slightly for managers at various levels. The ability to design solutions and the relative importance of these skills may differ at various levels in the organization hierarchy. Technical skills are of greatest importance at the supervisory level. Human skills are also helpful in the frequent interactions with subordinates.  Conceptual and design skills, on the other hand, are usually not critical for lower level supervisors. At the middle management level the need for technical skills decreases; human skills are still essential; conceptual skills gain in importance. At the top management level, conceptual and design abilities and human skills are especially valuable but there is relatively little need for technical abilities. It is assumed, especially in large companies that chief executives can utilize the technical abilities of their subordinates. In smaller firms, however, technical experience may still be quite important.

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