The meaning of any purposeful activity, including supervision, manifests in the functions as a result of a reasonable policy of specialization and wise staff command.
Functions of management are relatively isolated areas of managerial activity that allow exercising a certain influence on the object towards a certain aim.
Their main characteristics include:
- a) homogeneity of the content of works performed within the framework of a single function;
- b) focus of tasks;
- c) isolation of aims.
The primary functions of management are segmented into common (universal), which are suitable for various processes while specific functions that convey verification sense. The latter include the development of innovations or advanced technologies, labor protection, safety technology, paperwork, etc.
Four Functions of Management
In traditional classification, the leading function of management is generally considered planning. An entrepreneur, on the basis of a deep review of the situation in which the firm is currently located, formulates the purposes and tasks that lie before it, develops an action strategy.
Roles of a manager in a business allow using a suitable system of performance indicators necessary for the subsequent verification of the results. In addition, it provides convenership of efforts between structural units, thereby strengthening interaction between different company’s services. This means that planning is a continuous procedure of studying new methods for improving the firm's activities due to the identified opportunities, conditions, or factors. Consequently, plans should not be of a directive nature but must change according to a specific situation.
The organic part of the planning function of management becomes the preparation of long-term and medium-term forecasts, showing possible directions for the future development. Forecasts are laid on the basis of strategic plans, which reflect the most essential for any firm relationship between objectives, resources, and possibilities. In turn, strategic programs form the fundament of current ones, through which the work of an enterprise is organized.
The realization of plans assumes the function of organizing. Its task is the formation of the company’s structure, as well as providing with everything necessary for its work like personnel, materials, equipment, buildings, money, etc. Often organizing in management requires restructuring of supervision in order to increase their flexibility and adaptability to a market economy.
To organize means to divide the whole into parts and delegate the implementation of an overall management task to the lower levels through the distribution of responsibility and authority. This is achieved by developing provisions on structural units and instructions determine the internal schedule, boundaries of activities for each unit and employee.
The central function of management is leadership. Its task is to obtain the coherence of all links in the firm by establishing close communications. The most frequently used reports, interviews, meetings, computer, radio and television broadcasts, documents. With their help, an interaction between subsystems is established, resources are maneuvered, and coordination of all stages of the working process is ensured, as well as the action of managers.
In accordance with the tasks being solved, the following types of leadership are distinguished:
- a) preventive (foreseeing issues and difficulties);
- b) eliminating (elimination of disruptions in an economic sphere);
- c) regulating (maintaining the existing control system);
- d) stimulating (improving the office, even in the absence of visible problems).
In this case, the priority influence should be systemic, minimal and consistent.
Controlling function of management is a system for monitoring and verifying the compliance of an enterprise’s activity with established standards, identifying deviations from the decisions made and determining the reasons for their failure to comply. Its main tools are observation, verification of all aspects of the activity, accounting, and analysis.
There are different types of control:
- Preliminary verification is performed before the actual commencement of work (assessment of staff qualifications, development of standards for material resources, budgeting, etc.);
- The current one is carried out in the process of work and plays a role of feedback;
- Final check helps the office to prevent future mistakes.
Performing of control, i.e., comparing the results with those that need to be achieved, managers take appropriate measures. If they are worse than expected, then monitoring helps identify the causes of deviations and make the necessary adjustments. Control must comply with the next principles:
- strategic orientation;
- focus on results;
- the conformity of the means used.
This function is directly related to the planning one. Strategic plans reflect changes both within and outside the company, so the monitoring allows you to ascertain whether the adopted strategy is working. If the enterprise is constantly checked, mistakes can be noticed at an early stage and take the needed measures in time to solve the problem, thereby preventing possible serious damage.
Thus, listed four functions of management as planning, organizing, leading and controlling are integral parts of any business, regardless of the peculiarities (size, purpose, ownership, etc.) of the firm. In his/her work, the manager constantly returns to them. But a greater success is achieved by the collective whose leader constantly improves their performance.