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The basic functions of management

Management is responsible for deciding in advance what to do, when to do and how to do things in the organization. Management makes assessment of where the organization is as against where it want to be in the future and fashions out a plan on how to bridge the gap between the two.  It is a basic function of management to determine and map out the future course of actions that the organization must take to achieve its desired objectives. Planning done by management is necessary to ensure that there is proper use of both human & non-human resources. It further ensures that confusion uncertainties are avoided and that risks and wastages are kept at the minimum.

Organizing describes another basic function of management in bringing together physical, financial and human resources in such a way that they become productive in order to achieve organizational goals. In the view of Henry Fayol “To organize a business is to provide it with everything useful or its functioning i.e. raw material, tools, capital and personnel’s”. To organize a business involves making decisions on which human and non-human resources would be key to the organization and assigning them in such a way as to achieve the objectives of the organization: As a process organizing involves: Identifying the activities to be carried out in the organization; classification of grouping those activities; assigning duties to worker; delegating authority and creating responsibilities as well as coordinating the various relationship between the various responsibilities assigned.

Staffing is the function of making sure the company is manned.  In recent years, the management function of staffing has assumed greater importance as a result of great advancement in technology, increase in size of business, complexity of human behavior etc. The main purpose of staffing is ensure that the right  people are put on the right job i.e. square pegs in square holes and round pegs in round holes. According to Kootz & O’Donell, “Managerial function of staffing involves manning the organization structure through proper and effective selection, appraisal & development of personnel to fill the roles designed under the structure”. 

Typical staffing entails:
Manpower Planning -estimating man power in terms of searching, choose the persons and placing them in the right position or assigning them to the right duties. 

Training & Development- Providing the right training to develop and improve employees’ skills.

Remuneration- deciding on the appropriate wage, allowances and other remunerations of employees within the organization.

Performance Appraisal- periodically assessing workers performance to determine whether they must be promoted or retrained. Performance appraisals help ascertain how much the employers is contributing towards achieving organizational goals.  

Promotions & Transfer-promoting individual workers who deserve to be promoted and re-assigning some to new responsibilities in areas other than where they may currently be working

It is that part of managerial function which ensures that the methods of organization work effectively so the purpose of the organization is achieved. Planning, organizing and staffing are the mere preparations for doing the work. Direction is the aspect of management which deals directly with influencing, guiding, supervising, motivating sub-ordinate to actually do the work involved in making sure the goals, targets and aims of the enterprise are achieved. Directing involves supervision, motivation, providing leadership and communicating the company’s ideal, and methods with employees, subordinates and peers. 

Supervision- implies overseeing the work of subordinates by their superiors. It is the act of watching & directing work & workers.

Motivation- means inspiring, stimulating or encouraging the sub-ordinates with zeal to work. Positive, negative, monetary, non-monetary incentives may be used for this purpose.

Leadership- may be defined as a process by which manager guides and influences the work of subordinates in desired direction.

Communications- is the process of passing information, experience, opinion etc from one person to another. It is a bridge of understanding.

Denotes measuring what have been accomplished against the standard set for the organization; and taking steps to correct the deviation in case there is any in order to ensure that the goals of the organization are achieved. The purpose of directing is to ensure that everything done in the organization conforms to the standards set out from the beginning.  Where the control systems are efficient, it will be able to predict deviations before they happen. In the words of Theo Haimann, “Controlling is the process of checking whether or not proper progress is being made towards the objectives and goals and acting if necessary, to correct any deviation”. Controlling function therefore describes the process of measuring and correcting performance activities of subordinates in order to make sure that the enterprise objectives are met. The following are the steps of involve in controlling:
a.      Establishment of standard performance.
b.      Measurement of actual performance.
c.       Comparison of actual performance with the standards and finding out deviation if any.
d.      Corrective action.
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