”Management is the process of coordinating people and other resources to achieve the goals of the organisation” (Pride 2009 p.167). Managers will help the organisation to achieve goals by fulfilling the four functions of management, they are planning, organising, leading and controlling (Robbins 2008 p.12). Also good managers may need certain traits and managerial skills to help them to achieve those goals as well.
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Firstly, planning, it is a primary functional managerial activity and all other functions come later than planning. ”Planning involves setting organisation goals, establishing steps to achieve those goals and decision making” (Pride 2009 p.169). Managers set up small goals as the steps to achieve the organisational goals, therefore planning is a continuous process, because when one goal has been done, managers plan to achieve the other goals and this process will keeps running (Singla 2009 p.69). Also managers always find out the best way to achieve the goals, in other words, managers will find out the most effective and efficient way to achieve goals.
Secondly, organizing, when the organisational goals and workable plans have been decided, then managers will tend to organize people and available resources to carry the plan and follow the steps to achieve those goals (Davidson 2009 p.13). In today’s business world, most of the company will use the organisational structure, which is ” the arrangements that put in place to divide work among individuals to ensure efforts are coordinated effectively.” Normally, managers will group the similar jobs together and maintain a clear chain of command to ensure employees and resources are effectively and efficiently used (Robbins 2008 p.310).
The third function of management is leading. Leading include three main types of activities, they are leadership style, motivation and managing groups (Davidson 2009 p.14). Managers will lead their teams in the best way, they will motivate the employees to work as hard as they can and use the right leadership style to lead them. In order to find out the way to motivate and lead the employees, managers should understand the needs of them and observe their behaviour to determine which type of leadership style should use to lead them and how to motivate them (Robbins 2008 pp.470-471).
The final function of management is controlling. For controlling, managers basically follow the these three following steps to maintain control activities, the first step is setting standard with which performance can be measured; Second, setting actual performance and compare it with the standard; Third is taking corrective action as necessary (Pride 2009 p.172). In other words, it means managers will set a standard to ensure that goals are completed in the right way, if there are some problems during the process, managers will take corrective action to make the goals completed in the right way.
The following is the real live business example of managers making company become success by fulfilling four functions. Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple computer, he makes Apple to become a successful company. In 1996, Apple performance decline rapidly, Apple asked Steve Jobs to become the CEO of Apple computer, when Jobs takes control on Apple, he made the leadership style to be clear and motivate the employees, he also instituted an across-the-board planning process, established clear company objectives, and create a team structure that allowed programmers and engineers to pool their skills to develop new PCs. (Jones 2006 p.4)
The above example shows as that Steve Jobs helps Apple to become success by fulfilling the four functions of management. At first, he takes corrective actions to transform Apple, then he creates new plans, organize people and resources, using the right leadership style to lead and motivate employees. At last, Apple under his leading, now become one of the biggest computer companies in the world.
Become a manager is not easy, therefore become good managers will require several skills, because these skills will help managers to carry out the four functions in the right way. There are three main skills, they are technical skills, conceptual skills and interpersonal skills. These skills have different importance to different level of managers. (Pride 2009 p.176)
Firstly, technical skills, it is the specific skills for doing specialized activity, like the skills that engineers need. (Davidson 2009 p.19) This skill is quite important for first line managers because they need this skill relevant to the activities they manage. This does not means the first line managers will perform the technical task themselves, it is actually meaning that they should have the knowledge and ability to train employees, answer questions and provide guide line from them. (Pride 2009 p.176)
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Secondly, conceptual skills, it is the skills that to think abstractly and logically, which means it is a skill to allow managers to see the ‘big picture’ and understand how the ideas to be fit together. (Singla 2009 p.10) Usually, this skill is more useful for top managers than middle and first line managers, because top manager need to make overall goals for the company, then this skill is important for them when they setting goals or making decisions.
The third skill is interpersonal skills, this is the skill that to communicate effectively with and understand other people. (Davidson 2009 p.20) This skill is import to all levels of mangers because all levels of manager need to communicate and cooperate with others and this skill can help managers to deal with other organizations, resolve problems and easily motivate the employees. All levels of manager have to lead their teams and people, therefore this skills is important to all levels of managers. (Levin 2005 p.47)
In today’s business world, managers need all these skills to be success, like the following example, ”Mary Kay Ash, who are the founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, she works out with the employees throughout the organization, therefore she has been very successfully in her ability to motivate her employees and to inspire their loyalty vision for the firm.”(Pride 2009 p.177) This example shos as that a CEO of a company needs all these three skills, Mary Kay Ash works with her employees, this needs interpersonal and technical skills, also a CEO of a company needs conceptual skills to make discussions as well, Mary Kay Ash has effectively use all her skills and make the company to become success.
In conclusion, managers will help the company to achieve goals by fulfilling the four functions of management, planning, leading, organizing and controlling. Also managers needs skills the carry out the four functions in the right way, those skills are technical, conceptual and interpersonal skills. These four functions and three skills are interrelated, a good manager must have all these skills to carry out the four functions in the right way and make the company become success.
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