Management functions

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Management is complex process consisting in a number of management functions. The most popular management functions are: planning, organizing, motivating and controlling. Henri Fayol created the first principles of management theory, he also developed some other theories and defined five functions of management: planning - looking ahead and preparing resources, organizing - preparing people and resources, commanding - motivation people, making decision, coordinating - creating place for efficient processes, controlling - making sure that goal was achieved, and results attained However these are not the only ones functions. For years functions and definitions are changing because of evolution of management, different point of view of scientists and relations between them.

Basic classification of management functions


Planning(decision making) is the most important and the most fundamental of the functions. Planning is the vision of the way how to achieve specific goals. Planning begins with the questions of what and why, then try to reply how, when, who and where. During planning you have to:

  • identify the problem or need
  • obtain and analyze data
  • determine the best action
  • carry out the plan
  • monitor the process, report and make adjustments

Planning improves our chances to work effectively and efficiently. It provides more intelligent use of resources. It is very time-consuming and hard, but it is the most important function of management, so it is important to do a good plan. We can divide plans into following categories: strategic plans, tactical plans, organizational plans, operational plans, financial plans etc. the most important in planning is vision and strategy (Harrison, F., Lock, D. 2004).


Organizing consists in developing an appropriate configuration of resources that will enable efficient implementation of the planned activities. Organizing includes, among others:

  • spatial organization - e.g. optimal placement of machines and devices in the production hall
  • division of labor - division of tasks in a way that ensures full use of employees, without downtime, but also without overloading,
  • development of the organizational structure - the organizational structure links individual work positions to organizational units (e.g. departments, speeches, departments, divisions), enables the awarding of managerial positions,
  • delegating decision-making powers and responsibilities - managers may delegate part of their authority and responsibility to subordinates if employees have appropriate competences,
  • process development - the process is a sequence of tasks carried out in a specific order and leading to the achievement of the stated goals. Organizing tasks in processes helps to improve the efficiency of tasks implementation,
  • team work - many organizations appreciate today's team work instead of individual execution of tasks by employees,
  • providing information - an efficient communication and information system is important for the proper functioning of the company.


Motivating or commanding. Conduction consists in modifying the attitudes of subordinates in such a way that they achieve designated or agreed goals. Nowadays, it is believed that a manager should be a leader, i.e. lead employees to achieve goals. Leadership is due to many factors, including:

  • formal authority - the authority of a given manager,
  • acceptance of subordinates - consent to comply with the decisions of the manager-leader,
  • charisma - an authority resulting from experience and approach to employees,
  • high professional competences,
  • ethical attitude and value system.

An effective leader should be involved in the functioning of the organization, improve their competences, demonstrate empathy towards employees, be open to ideas of others and creative, flexibly change the way behavior along with changing internal and external conditions (Wren, D. A., and others 2002).


Controlling is an essential activity because the environment in which all supervisors work is in a constant state of change. What applies today may well not be valid tomorrow. The conditions that prevail when a project is started or a decision is made do not necessarily remain static. For an undertaking that is planneg to extend overal several weeks, we can rest assured that the number of changes potentially having some effect on the project will occur and that some of these, if not addressed could conceivably derail the undertaking.

Examples of Management functions

  • Planning: Planning is a management function that involves setting goals and objectives and deciding how to achieve them. It requires managers to consider the organization's current and future needs, resources, and constraints. An example of planning would be a manager deciding on the best ways to allocate resources in order to increase profits or reduce costs.
  • Organizing: Organizing is a management function that involves creating systems and structures in order to achieve desired goals. It requires managers to develop plans and strategies, arrange resources, and allocate responsibilities. An example of organizing would be a manager creating a system that allows different departments to work together in order to achieve a common goal.
  • Motivating: Motivating is a management function that involves inspiring and stimulating employees to achieve their maximum potential. It requires managers to use techniques such as positive reinforcement, rewards, and recognition to encourage employees to work hard and reach their goals. An example of motivating would be a manager providing bonuses to employees for outstanding performance.
  • Controlling: Controlling is a management function that involves monitoring and adjusting processes to ensure desired outcomes are achieved. It requires managers to evaluate progress, identify issues, and take corrective action when necessary. An example of controlling would be a manager monitoring employee performance and taking corrective action if performance is not meeting expectations.

Advantages of Management functions

Management functions are essential tools used to ensure that a business achieves its goals in an efficient and effective manner. The advantages of management functions include:

  • Planning - Planning helps to identify goals, objectives and prioritize tasks. It also allows businesses to anticipate potential problems and develop solutions before they arise. Planning can also help to reduce costs by identifying areas of waste and inefficiency.
  • Organizing - Organizing helps to create a structure within the business, making it easier to assign tasks and responsibilities. It also helps to create a chain of command, making it easier to manage and direct employees.
  • Motivating - Motivating employees helps to increase productivity and job satisfaction. This can help to create a positive working environment and can lead to increased collaboration and team work.
  • Controlling - Controlling helps to measure progress and identify areas for improvement. It also helps to ensure that goals and objectives are being met, and that resources are being used effectively.

Limitations of Management functions

  • Planning - Planning is limited by the availability of information, the accuracy of forecasts, and the resources available to implement plans.
  • Organizing - Organizing is limited by the availability of resources, the skills of personnel, and the ability to delegate tasks.
  • Motivating - Motivating is limited by the amount of reward available, the ability to motivate diverse personalities, and the ability to inspire commitment.
  • Controlling - Controlling is limited by the ability to accurately assess performance, the ability to communicate expectations, and the ability to enforce standards.

Other approaches related to Management functions

Management functions can also be described in terms of different approaches. These include:

  • The Scientific Management approach, which emphasizes the analysis of tasks and the design of effective work methods to optimize efficiency;
  • The Human Relations approach, which focuses on the importance of effective communication, organizational culture, and employee motivation;
  • The Systems approach, which looks at the organization as an integrated whole and examines the interdependence of different parts;
  • The Contingency approach, which takes into consideration the external environment and various organizational factors when assessing the effectiveness of management functions;
  • The Quality Management approach, which emphasizes the importance of customer satisfaction and continuous improvement.

In summary, the various approaches to management functions provide insight into the complexity of managing an organization. By taking different approaches into account, managers can ensure that their decisions are appropriate for their organization's environment.

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Author: Piotr Budz